Summers here... well some days it feels like it in Toronto. Summer is not officially here until June 21; however as the days are getting longer and the kids are refusing to go to bed "because it's not night time it's still bright out"; we are all getting in summer mode. With summer mode comes outdoor toys, sunscreen and parks; this post is about what I am doing as a mom to keep Christophe safe this summer, help him avoid toxins and for me select safe products.
There are 100's if not 1000's of sunscreens to choose from on the market so how do you know what to do when it comes to selecting one for you or your little one. Well this is a subject I was not very educated on until last year, I will admit it I am bad I used to never use sunscreen, but I don't want Christophe growing up thinking it's OK to prance around in the sun without protection. A few years back my best friends dad was diagnosed with skin cancer and he is one of the healthiest man I have ever met so if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone; he is still battle with cancer and will probably be doing so until the end. ( my thoughts goes out to him and his family everyday ) I think his story is probably what made me start thinking about sunscreen for use other then at the beach.
There are so many website out there that tell you the pros and cons of sunscreen that I am not going to talk about that. I just want to stress if you are going out in full sun or on a day the UV index is high were sunscreen. Now you may ask how do I tell if the UV index is high; here in Canada you can get all that information from Weathernetwork. Unless the UV Report is low I slap on the sunscreen on both myself and Christophe, if we are planning on being outside for more the 20 mins or so.
What kind of sunscreen do we use: I selected California Baby for Christophe only SPF 30+ and for myself Lavera SPF 30 for babies. So far so good when we are wearing the sunscreen and reapplying as directed neither of has had a sunburn. The reason why I selected a baby sunscreen for myself is that despite the fact that it is for me I am still picking up Christophe all the time so there will be product transfer. So you say why do I not use the California Baby; California Baby Sunscreen is not sold in Canada you have to order it from the US that being said it's not cheep, but it is one of the best sunscreens on the market for infants and kids.
Additional resources on sunscreen check out Skin Deep Sunscreen Report.
Sunscreen naturally brings us to hats, wear a hat, wear a hat, wear a hat. Do I have to say it again. Not only wearing hats is fashionable it offers some sun protection creating shade around you face; and some hats offer additional SPF protection due to the fabric used to make them.
Our favorite kids hats are from Snug as a Bug as a bonus they are Canadian Made. Be sure to check out there adjustable hats. Unfortunately these hats then to be hard to find in stores so your best bet is to order online, you wont be disappointed.
And for mom I just love the hats from deLux. In my hood you can get them at the Hat Depot located at 704 Danforth Ave. This is a great little shop the owner still makes hats right in the shop; if you make it there ask them to show you the caps they make for small kids we got one for Christophe and every day he wheres it I think we must get at least 4 or 5 comments on it. Louis the owner and hat maker will also most likely show you pictures of his grandson that is around the same age as Christophe.
Now that we are ready to go out and play lets talk toys:
Many balls that we buy our kids contains PVC, latex or vinyl; also a lot of the balls you can find these days are decorated with Diego, Dora or some other cartoons. I am not sure about you but in my home we try to avoid any ting that is branded commercially by large corporations. Last summer we found this great company that only makes products that are PVC, latex and vinyl free - Crocodile Creek; you can purchase their balls at Treasure Island Toys in Toronto.
Other necessities for outdoor play are available from Green Toys; we have the Sand Play Set and I would like to get one of the Trucks for Christophe as well. You can get these at Kids on the Hip in Toronto. Green Toys is a wonderful manufacture from the US that make toys from recycled plastic and all there toys contain no traceable amounts of Phthalates or BPA.
When talking about summer items I should probably also talk about sunglasses and bathing suits; unfortunatly I don't feel aquiped to talk about them because well - For sunglasses Christophe refuses to wear them and bathingsuits we really only go swimming indoors. However with Christophe now able to walk I am sure we will be frequenthing the splash pad so I should probably start doing my research on this one... maybe I will share my findings in another post.