Summer is almost here! Soon you will be turning in your sweaters for bathing suits and cover ups. We all love the beach but if you don’t prepare, it can quickly turn into temper tantrums, sunburns, and heat cramps! It is important that when planning a day at the beach with your little ones, you have everything you need to keep them safe from the harmful effects of the sun. Dr. Katie Friedman, board certified pediatrician and co-founder of foreverfreckled.com, is going to break down the must-haves for your family beach day.
Sun Protection. This should be every parents #1 priority when heading to the beach. UVA and UVB rays not only cause cancer, but sunburns are horribly painful and uncomfortable. Although sunblocks and sticks are imperative, physical barriers such as SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade are equally as important. Please remember that children under the age of 6 months cannot wear sunblock and if you take your infant to the beach, you must have shade. I love the portable pop-up cabana. It is perfect for your child’s nap and easy to carry and setup! Shade provides only partial protection against UV rays. Without sunscreen or other protection, an infant without protection can still get sunburned. Make sure to apply sunblock 15-30 minutes before getting to the beach and reapply every 45 minutes – 1 hour. Sometimes we can get caught up with building sandcastles and playing in the waves and forget to reapply sunblock. This can lead to serious sunburns and heat illness. An important tip is to set a timer on your phone every hour to remind you it is time to reapply.
Eye Protection- While many parents religiously slather on the sunscreen, very few remember the importance of protecting their child’s eyes. Sunglasses are just as important for a day in the sun as sunblock is. UVA and UVB rays can cause short term and long term damage to your little one’s eyes. I love BÉABA’s line of baby and toddler sunglasses. They have 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays and are super comfortable. They have an ergonomic wrap around design which helps them to stay on your baby’s head.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration. A day at the beach should be treated as if your child is participating in a sporting event. It is recommended that a child drinks 5 to 9 ounces of water (10 to 18 “gulps”) every 20 minutes during activity depending on weight (teenagers should drink more). Younger children should be given water bottles with marks on the sides showing how much they should drink or be told how many “gulps” to drink. Bring a cooler filled with hydrating fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe. It is important to take breaks from the sun and rehydrate.
For more great pediatric tips and advice, follow Dr. Katie Friedman at www.foreverfreckled.com