Protecting Our Little Ones From The Summer Sun ...How Far Should We Go?
Those who know me know I'm not a great writer and don't enjoy it, I'd prefer to talk every time! So when I was told (not asked!) to start contributing regular blog posts I wasn't jumping for joy shall we say. More surprisingly the topic leapt straight at me this, maybe wasn't going to be so bad after all.
This summer I booked our annual trip to visit the in laws in France, we decided to book a little earlier than usual, late June, due to me being 30 weeks pregnant. My thinking behind it was we should have lovely mid 20s temperatures, hopefully not too hot for heat/sun cream/hydration management of a toddler, and I can sip away on my lovely non wine refreshment (violins please). To put you in the picture I'm a sun worshipper always have been always will, I really do think I was born to sleep in the sun however this week we hit 40 degrees temperatures here in the Dordogne, I wanted to book the next flight home, oh wait a minute French Air Traffic have just announced an air strike I'm afraid next flight is in 5 days’ time! NOOOOOOO, this can't be happening...
Anyway joking aside my priority was with my 20 month old daughter Lucia. How will we manage to keep her cool? She not a huge drinker at the best of times, how will we get her to drink more water? Do we keep her in the shade? She surprised us all, and coped much better than us moany adults. Little people really do seem to adapt better than us older folks. She pretty much took control of her own heat management with a little help from us now and again.
Luckily my husband and I are both in agreement when it comes to our daughter and sun-protection. We put a high 30 factor on her and allowed her to run nappy less in morning sun and late afternoon sun when it was least hot. She was in and out of the pool with us lots and had her own little shaded paddling pool too. We both take to the sun well and hope Lucia will too, so we think it's important that our daughters skin should be exposed to sunshine from an early age. In the UK we are constantly being told (especially in Scotland) that lack of sunshine can cause all sorts of problems and rickets!(I only just discovered that in Finland the little tots receive controlled UV treatment to prevent rickets).There are so many mixed messages from health professionals on what we should and shouldn't do but I think ultimately as a parent you know your child's limits and as long as you put plenty of sun cream on frequently to avoid any burning, keep them well hydrated, wear a hat and sunglasses when possible, and keep them out of the mid day strong sun then I think why shouldn't they be exposed to the sunshine. I'm not a fan of the long sleeved swing suits but I do see why parents use them and need to use them, especially if you child is fair skinned. They also must take the stress out of worrying whether they will burn or not.
I think as parents we will always feel guilty no matter what we do and always question ourselves, especially when you see other parents doing differently. Just follow your own gut, I suppose I do what my parents did with me, allowing Lucia as much sunshine as safe as is possible, and make sure she drinking lots. Ice lollies are a real hit for little ones that don't like drinking water!
I hope you enjoyed reading my first ever blog, it wasn't as painful s i though it would be ,quite enjoyed it really. Now to go and enjoy my last few days of holidays.
Happy Holidays everyone , enjoy the British summer heatwave with your favourite little people and stay safe.