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Summer is just days away! Although the outdoors can be beautiful when it is sunny, this is the time of year when UV rays are the strongest. That is why it is important that your family practices proper sun safety. Protecting a young child’s fragile skin will help teach them about healthy habits when they are in the sun. WhattoExpect.com and KidsHealth.org have great tips and information pertaining sun safety:
Choosing the Best Sunscreen: Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. It should offer both UVA and UVB ray protection, which should say “broad spectrum” on the label. You may be wondering what the difference is between the two rays. UVA rays can cause skin aging and contribute to melanoma. UVB rays can cause sunburn and can affect the immune system. Making sure the sunscreen you purchase helps protect from both is critical. Also, make sure the sunscreen that you own is not expired. Sunscreen is meant to remain at its original strength for up to two to three years. If sunscreen has an expiration date on it, discard of the lotion if it is past that date.
Every Area of Skin is Important: It is important to put sunscreen on any skin areas that are exposed such as the face, arms, and legs. However, it is important to also apply sunscreen to a toddler’s ears, neck, tops of feet, hands, scalp, and back of legs. Surprisingly, lips can burn too! Protect your little one’s lips with a lip balm that has SPF 15. In addition, the younger children are, the more susceptible they are to sun damage because their skin has not fully developed melanin and at this point in their young lives, their skin is thinner. This is a great reason why it is always a safe idea to apply sunscreen everywhere to decrease the risk of skin damage.
No Such Thing as Too Much: It is a rule of thumb to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and then reapply every two hours. It may be a good idea to apply the sunscreen more frequently than that if your child is playing in the water or sweating. It is also a good idea to make sure the sunscreen that you purchase is waterproof based on the activity level and types of activities that your child is participating in while they are outside. Also, just because it is cloudy outside on certain days, it does not mean that sunscreen should not be worn. Up to 80% of UV rays can get through clouds, so it is essential for children to wear sunscreen no matter what the weather is outside.
Timing is Everything: Sometimes, it is inevitable to keep your children out of the sun during the time that the sun’s UV rays are the strongest, which is between, 10am and 4pm. So if they are out there during those times, encourage children to play near the shade or sit under an umbrella while at the beach. And remember, put on extra sunscreen and reapply often!
Cover Up: Clothes offer protection from the sun, however, there is only so much that clothes can protect. If you want to take extra precaution, put sunscreen on your toddler’s skin that is covered by their shirt. Also, when a child is wearing dark clothing, the more UV rays will pass through. Protecting a little one’s face with a hat or cap with a brim will help shield their face. Sunglasses with at least 97% – 100% UV protection will protect the skin around their eyes and, most importantly, their eyes! Plus they will be the most stylish child on the block!
Be a role model: Children will follow by the great example of their older family members. If the adults and older siblings are wearing hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, younger children may begin to understand the importance and want to participate in sun safety. If the adults are protecting themselves from the sun, than it must be a cool and healthy habit!
What tips do you have for protecting your child(ren) from the sun?
“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference,” said Kevin Heath, the CEO for More4kids.It is important to encourage our children to be kind. It may help build character, prevent bullying, and influence children to be nice to others.
Being a role model, exhibiting how to be kind, is a great way to teach kindness. There are also many other ways to encourage kindness:
Teach teamwork: Whether your children have a play date or are just playing together as siblings, when it comes to cleaning up afterwards, have them work together. Children can learn the value of teamwork just by helping each other.
Teach sharing: Learning to play in pairs is a great way to start teaching children how to share. During play activities that require two or more children, demonstrate how they can share toys as they play with each other. Sharing teaches children about giving.
Give thanks: Teach children how to compliment the people they come in contact with. A great way to do this is by complimenting or praising a friend or relative. Children will start to pick up on how being praised or complimented can make another person feel good.
Give to charity/community service: Encourage your family to help out in the community by cleaning the local park, visiting a nursing home, or fundraising for a good cause. By spending time together performing an act of kindness, children will realize they are benefiting the community and helping others who need assistance.
An example of kindness
26 Acts of Kindness is an initiative that was started by Ann Curry in December following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. She challenged people to perform 26 acts of kindness, one for each victim in their honor. Now, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Ann has asked for people to participate in 26 more acts, this time in honor of victims of the bombings at the 26th mile of the Boston Marathon.
These acts of kindness can be used as learning tools for children and may even encourage you and your family to spread the love and generosity.
St. Germaine’s 4th grade class in Oak Lawn, Illinois sent well wishes to the Boston victims.
A donation of twenty six hearts to the American Heart Associate, one in honor of each of the Sandy Hook victims.
Jaide, who is three years old, ran her first 5k with her mom to honor Boston.
If you choose to participate in the 26 Acts of Kindness, we invite you to post your acts of kindness to the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.
Encouraging kindness is like a never ending cycle, when you do something good for someone; someday someone may do something nice for you. Being kind can make brighten someone’s day and that is the best reward of all. Do you have suggestion on how to encourage kindness in children?
Happy Earth Day! Earth Day is an annual day where communities gather together worldwide to demonstrate support to protect the environment for plants, animals, and humans. To start off this important day and raise awareness, your family can help a global mosaic on Earthday.org. All you have to do is upload a picture, preferably one that includes your face and a sign that says “The Face of Climate Change.” Check out what the global mosaic looks like so far at TheAdvocator.com.
In addition showing your support online, there are plenty of fun & creative ideas you can do with your kids to educate them about Earth Day. We were inspired by the ideas CreativeFamily.net , CarrotsAreOrgange.com , and B-InspiredMama.com had about this green celebration.
Celebrating and teaching your children about Earth Day will help them to pass the knowledge and passion about taking care of our planet to future generations. What activities do you have planned for Earth Day?
When children play in pairs it can help develop their social skills. They learn to share, take turns, and solve problems together. Also, as children begin to play in pairs, it helps to prepare them when they partake in group play. There are numerous benefits for children playing in pairs. However, it is not just about children sharing toys or playing tag outside together, there are plenty of fun activities that children can do in order to develop other skills that involve active and pretend play. Parenting.com has great examples of fun activities for children to play in pairs:
What tips do you have for having children play in pairs?
Make a game out of teaching toddlers how to stay in bed! Thriving Early Magazine inspired us to share this great bedtime game you can try with your children.
Follow these steps to start playing:
It may take some time for children to get to the finish line. It is important for both children and parents to be patient with the progress of the bedtime game. However, once your children make it to the finish line for the first time, it will encourage and provide them with an incentive to continue to stay in bed in order to get their next reward.
What tips do you have for getting your children to stay in bed?
Many toddlers enjoy mimicking adult like activities such a cooking and cleaning, yet there is another activity that may inspire logic and decision making. That activity is learning how to dress themselves. Here are some tips inspired by Thriving Family Magazine on how to teach children how to dress:
1. Ask your child to observe the weather outside.
2. Talk about what the plans for the day are.
3. Separate clothing into categories.
4. When children make what may be considered a good selection for a clothing choice, cheer them on. Toddlers love positive attention!
5. Based on the good dress decisions of the week, as a reward for dressing well, on a day that you and your child are spending in the house, give them the option to dress in their favorite outfit such as their superhero pajamas.
What tips do you have for teaching your child how to dress themselves?