Being mindful about safety ensures your happy holidays are healthy ones too.
After a tumultuous year of uncertainty and restrictions, we bet you’re longing to get outdoors and enjoy a carefree summer and create memories for your whanau? Us too!
Fun in the SUN
- The first line of defence against the risk of sunburn is staying out of the sun and/or covering up. Try to plan activities for early or late in the day to avoid midday exposure.
- Hats and cool long-sleeved tops keep the beating sun off vulnerable faces, necks, and arms when exposure is intermittent.
- If playing sport or spending time at the beach without shade, use sunscreen on all uncovered areas to reduce the risk of sunburn, and reapply frequently.
Remember: One size does not necessarily fit all when it comes to sun protection measures. How deeply pigmented is your child’s skin? Very fair skin requires vigilant attention, while darker skin less so. Fairer children can cope with very little sun exposure in midsummer before needing to cover up to avoid the risk of sunburn, while darker kids can easily cope with some sun exposure before they’re at risk of burning. Most of us need a little sun so our skin can make essential vitamin D. Just how much depends on your child’s skin type and how well they cope with sun exposure, which in turn is a result of their genetic mix
Fun in the WATER
- If your children are not already swimmers, look for a water safety or swimming programme in which to enrol them near where you live. Water Safety New Zealand has a comprehensive set of resources online for teaching your children water familiarisation and water confidence, as well as safety
tips for beaches, boating, fishing, diving, pools, and rivers.
- Children up to age three should always swim with an adult, and kids under five should be supervised around water within an arm’s reach at all times. It only takes 60-seconds and five centimetres of water for a child to drown.
- Ensure the swimming pool in which your child is going to swim is appropriately fenced, and always empty paddling pools when you’re finished with them.
Fun at the BEACH
- Choose a beach displaying red and yellow patrol flags, and swim between them so there is an active lifeguard patrol available at all times.
- Be aware of the conditions at the beach. Waves, wind, and tides can affect swimming conditions, and the better you understand these, the more you’ll be able to keep your family safe.
Remember: A strong current of water running out to sea is called a rip, and poses a real danger to swimmers. Teach older children what to do if they get caught in a rip. Don’t panic, don’t try to swim against it, but let the rip carry you until the current subsides. Then, swim parallel to the beach until well clear of the rip and, finally, swim back to shore.
Hydration is super-important
When temperatures rise, so too does your need to stay hydrated. It’s especially important for children and babies to keep from getting dehydrated, as their bodies don’t cool down as efficiently as adults, and when they’re running around, their bodies will lose fluids. Pregnant and breastfeeding mums also need to pay particular attention to staying hydrated in summer. Here are some tips for staying hydrated:
- Carry a water bottle with you – pop one into your handbag or nappy bag. Get your kids used to taking a water bottle with them when they play. You can get nifty holders for bikes and scooters that let your child clip a water
bottle on when they’re out riding. Special backpacks that hold water are also great for when you go on tramps.
- Children can lose up to a half-litre of fluid per hour through activity. Make taking water breaks every 20 minutes on hot days a part of their play, especially if they are playing sports or doing strenuous exercise.
- Ice blocks and juice popsicles are a refreshing alternative for rehydration.
- Summer fruits like watermelon are also a good source of water, so encourage fruit snacking (or make fruit ice blocks, see page xx)
Products We Love
Goodbye Ouch Sun Balm Natural Sunscreen, from $17,
A certified natural, water-free formulation, high-performance sunscreen now in a refillable system, with the smaller 15gm aluminium container able to be personalised with your child’s name. Its size makes it perfect for pockets, school or beach bags and teaches children to take responsibility to reapply their sunscreen.
Nude Alchemist Barrier Balm, $18,
With no nasty chemicals, preservatives or artificial fragrances, this natural sun-barrier cream is zinc oxide based, which is a naturally occurring mineral. The zinc oxide acts as the main active ingredient against UV, and the other ingredients provide a smaller SPF. Non-nano zinc oxide is used because it means the particles are not small enough to enter the bloodstream, unlike other sunscreens on the market. Safe for babies and children with sensitive skin.