Babies and parents in Canada are no strangers to extreme weather! If you’re like our family, you’re probably doing a Happy Dance every time you can leave your home without the twenty minute snowsuit-boots-mittens-blanket ordeal, but the hot temperatures and strong UV of summertime also require some preparation. Planning for the weather with kids is like most other areas with parents – once you have a system worked out and you’re on a roll, everything changes again! Just like sleep schedules, food preferences, and your toddler’s behaviour, everything’s about to turn upside down all over again! No need to panic though, once you’re sun-smart, you’ll be set for the whole summer. Here’s what you need to know about Summertime with little ones.
Year-round, the sun can harm, but the UV ratings are highest in the summer months, when coincidentally, we’re wearing the least amount of protection by way of clothing and outerwear. Protecting your baby from the sun is essential, especially in the summer. Health Canada recommends staying out of direct sunlight completely between the hours of 12pm and 2pm, which generally coincides with lunchtime and nap anyway, so that’s not much of an adjustment. Any time your baby or toddler is outdoors, they should be wearing sunscreen on all exposed skin. I love sunscreen sticks for the face, as they make it so easy to manoeuvre around the eyes. Lotions and creams are safer than aerosol sprays as they have fewer chemicals, so look for brands like Think Baby, Green Beaver, Sun Bum, and Matter Company.
In addition to sunscreen, protect them with sun hats, like these adorable white or patterned hats by Snug as a Bug. Sleeved swimwear, like these one piece suits from Stonz, are made from UPF50 fabric and cover the arms and upper legs. They’re also really easy to take on and off with a full length zipper. Our little one’s skin is infinitely more delicate than ours, so do your absolute best to avoid a Coppertone baby tan line this summer!
Water is an integral part of summer, and children of all ages adore it. Whether you have a backyard pool, a nearby body of water, or you’re planning to splash around in the kiddie pool or local splash pad, there’s no better way to beat the heat. We all know the dangers associated with non-swimmers and water, so I won’t belabour the point. Simply put, always be within an arm’s reach of a non-swimmer and consider floatation devices, particularly in deep water , and uneven depths (such as the gradual depth of lakes). For life vests for toddlers and babies, you can’t get better than Salus. Salus’ Bijoux Baby vest is the winner of the Canadian Safe Boating Award for Best New Safety Product and will give you great peace of mind when your little one is splashing around at the park, pool, or lake.
Fun In The Sun!
Summer is ripe for family vacations and extended days outside. I love how in the warmer months, a quick walk to the park can morph into a picnic dinner with the neighbours just like that. For maximum mobility I love having a baby carrier (my favourite for all of my children was the Beco Gemini), and it’s a great idea to keep a pack-and-play or tent in your trunk for those impromptu get-togethers than might overlap with nap time or bedtime. I love Summer’s Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard which allows you to easily create a safe portable play area, and comes with a sun shade, or the Anti UV Sun and Play Tent by Bbluv.
Years ago I read a quote that struck me and has profoundly impacted how I view the long, sweet summer months. It said, “we only get eighteen summers with our children, let’s make them count”, and as I reflect on that, I’m filled with joy and excitement for these glorious warm weeks ahead. However you plan to spend your summer, we hope it’s safe, fun, and filled with memories for years to come!