Tag Archives: toddlers

Sun Safety Tips for Toddlers

sun safety tips for toddlers

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?

 

Toddler Prep

My 21 month old granddaughter is coming for a visit over the Thanksgiving holiday and needless to say I am very excited and in a bit of a panic at the same time.

It has been many years since I’ve had a toddler in my home therefore my home is far from being “kid proof”. Friends are telling me that I will need to remove the glass candle holders from my coffee table. But gee they look so nice. Now I’m wondering, ok, what else do I need to do? When raising my sons I never put anything up, but of course I didn’t have a whole lot to speak of back then.

I would like to throw this out to the young moms and grandma’s reading this in a quest for some advice on the prep work that I need to do prior to the arrival of my little angel and her parents for five days. I need all the help I can get.

Thanking you in advance.

About Sharon

Sharon became a first time grandma in February of 2011 and had the pleasure of celebrating her granddaughter’s first birthday in San Francisco where she lives with her oldest son and his wife. Sharon welcomes the opportunity to spoil her granddaughter after having raised two boys. Sharon is an avid lover of the arts and has dabbled with oil painting and enjoys interior decorating as a hobby. She is the Customer Service Manager for Step2.

Wuv and Windows

Some summertime stories and a haiku…

Ok, so we had the double birthday party. One turned two and one turned five. It was our first birthday party not at Uncle Jims.  It was a bowling party and super fun!  I didn’t know this before the party but they have ramps you can put the ball down so even a two year old can bowl.  Grizz (Brady) put the ball down the ramp Bowling Partyand would exclaim, “oh yeah.” It was a perfect party for kids and adults!  July weather outside can get hairy and being inside in air conditioning with a set activity and even some one to clean up was painless and smooth.

At the close of the party, I was packing up things to take to the car. Grizz looked at me, waved, and sang, “bye Mommy.” Not a minute later the boy’s nanny says “good-bye” and Grizz proceeds to throw a temper tantrum saying, “stay here.” Ho hum.  I’m still kind of depressed by that. To add salt to the wound there were about 25 family members to hear the exchange.

 

Moving on to other summer happenings – Grizz finally pulled what I knew he would pull, something I have been waiting (and dreading) him to try. He tried to crawl out the second story window. We have original windows that are now locked all the time. I have already called Pella for a quote on new windows. If I needed an excuse I have one. Of course our first born NEVER pulled a stunt like that.

Right or wrong we bought Ryan an iPod touch for his birthday. Grizz was pretty jealous and kept saying “download it, download it.” I told them that I’m pretty sure I didn’t say the word “download” until my twenties and even then I didn’t know the difference between “download” and “upload.” Not long after that Ryan informed me that the 1980’s were the “olden days.” Olden days?  The eighties? I didn’t exactly know what to do with that information but I didn’t take it well. I am almost 4 years older than my husband so he was no help.

The best thing about this summer is that Grizz told me he loved me for the first time – he redeemed himself from the nanny debacle. He chased after me when I was leaving for work and said “I wuv,”
“I wuv.”

I thought I’d end with a haiku – a seasonal haiku.

I love summertime

The Boys like to get dirty

Summer is stinky

About Sara S.

Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys.   She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.

Mommy Nerves and Growing Up

Written by Sara S.

Along the long, windy, path of motherhood there are many unexpected turns.  Most of the unexpected things I have encountered along the motherhood path, to my chagrin, have been in my heart and my brain. Take the following for example…

Crash, Boom, Bang

You know what I am talking about. Once you hear that sound of crash followed by a cry your heart drops to your knees, your nerve endings prickle, and your hair follicles turn on end. There is nothing worse than that sound.

Once you have had one experience of hearing this thud followed by the cry, everytime you hear such a sound a head jerk and heart flip occur quite often and can be caused by any of the following: any household thud, an unexpected splash in a pool, the sound of something dropping, breaking or bumping – even the sound of an ambulance when your children are home and you are away takes on new meaning. I am wondering, at what age are they when this stops happening?

Growing up and out of things

Mommy heart flip-flops are also caused by things that indicate how fast your child is growing up. My youngest, Brady (a.k.a. Grizz) did not fit into one of my favorite matching outfits. My baby was too big for an outfit I thought was huge not just a year ago. How could this be? I looked at him in the crib last night and once just 21” long; he is now over 42” tall. It’s almost a magical bittersweet dilemma of all mothers – how fast their children grow.

Last week I found myself sitting with Ryan on his last day of preschool watching the slide show for the year.  For me, there is no way to not feel a pang of sadness along with joy at every milestone.  Does this ever go away or does it get worse? It’s going to be an interesting summer, preparing for pre-k, digging for worms, playing in dirt, riding bikes, staying up late, watching the games, sleeping in, swimming and growing up.

I am loving this path of motherhood and wondering what I will encounter next! I don’t know what’s more unexpected, what happens or how I feel about what happens.

About Sara S.

Sara is an on the go – down to earth Momma, married to a Marine and the mother of two get dirty wild and crazy, play in the mud boys.   She loves Michael Jackson, dancing and spending time with her family. She is honored to be able to teach her little guys about the world around them, about kindness love and the human spirit. For fun, she loves to make jewelry, shop, ski and spend time outdoors getting dirty with her boys. Sara is a Sr. Product Manager at Step2.

Age Appropriate Chores for Children

Toddler choresWhen A baby is born it is difficult to think of a time when you will want to do anything but give your new little one everything he wants and needs. However, it is important that at least some limits be set eventually. To keep a child from acting spoiled on entitled, it is better to start developing guidelines sooner rather than later.

Although, a child’s ability to understand and follow through with tasks can vary depending on their age, even very young children can be included on a family chore chart. It is recommended that children as young as 3-4 years old can be given tasks such as folding washcloths, matching socks, throwing items in the trash and feeding pets.

But even before that children can be taught that when they make a mess, someone needs to clean it up. It is not uncommon for parents of toddlers to pick up their kids toys when their child is asleep or busy with some other activity. When parents do this, kids learn that child play toys will magically return to where they belong. This, of course, is not true. While a two year old may not  understand when you say ”pick up your toys,” they can be taught to put one or two things away while parents put away the other kids toys. No matter how many child play toys they actually put away, his efforts should be rewarded with plenty of praise. This way even very young children feel useful and build their sense of self worth.

Of course, as children get older they’ll want more of a reward than a “good job!” and a little clapping. By making a chore chart, a child can visualize what they are supposed to do. Whatever their chore, a clear reward system should be in place, especially for younger children. Many of the chores preschoolers have are really parts of chores adults or older children have, such as matching socks or folding washcloths. It is important to continue to encourage a child even when they do a chore “wrong” because it will help them develop a sense of pride and learn responsibility for more difficult tasks later on.

Preschoolers are still developing a sense of money and its value, so rewarding them with stickers or other tokens that they can turn in for new child play toys can be a good way to introduce this concept. As a child gets older, you may decide a cash allowance is appropriate or you may want to teach your child the difference between choresdone for the family, and those that deserve special compensation. Either way, there are times when teaching a child age appropriate chores is a lot harder than doing the chore yourself. However, making the effort is important for both caregivers and children and will help them develop a strong relationship built on respect.

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