Safe Summertime Tips for Babies and Tots

Schools are out and days are longer marking the start of summer.   With barbecues and pool parties in full swing, there is lots of fun to be had but also a whole new set of parental worries.  Here are a few tips to help keep kids safe and healthy throughout the summer:

Healthy Snacking

Without the usual daily routines, spontaneity rules during the summer with all the fun activities to do you may find.  How can you maintain the healthy habits you’ve instilled over the winter months?  To start, try to maintain a regular eating schedule as best you can, keeping mealtimes within an hour of your little one’s usual eating time.  Also, providing 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks helps boredom snacking to a minimum.  If your neighbor invites the family over for a barbecue and your child has food allergies, be sure to pack your own snacks and bring a hearty side dish to share so that you can be sure the food is safe and allergen free.

Plenty of Produce

Speaking of healthy snacks, one of the best parts of summer is all the glorious produce that is abundant and right off the vine.  From berries to greens, eating produce that is local and in season is both better for you and the environment.  Visiting your local farmer’s market is great way to get organic produce at a great price; it also makes for a fun family activity.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients, make great prep-free snacks, and can help keep kids’ immune systems healthy. The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) can tell you the peak season for produce in your area

Pool Panache

Babies and toddlers are fascinated with water, swimming pools being the pinnacle. Swimming is a great family activity on a hot summer day, yet safety is of utmost importance.  It may sound redundant, but never leave a child near a pool unattended.  During a pool party, lots of socializing can make it difficult to keep your eyes on your toddler.  Designate an adult “pool watcher″ to be on guard at all times, and if everyone takes a shift it is an easy way to protect kids.  Visit Baby Swimming for more pool safety tips for babies and toddlers.

Summer Skin

Extra outdoor time brings up a key question- what is the best way to protect baby’s delicate skin from pesky bugs and too much sun?  Most bug sprays and sun blocks on the market are laden with harmful chemicals that are too toxic for adults, let alone toddlers and babies.  Look for an organic bug repellent made of essential oils and free of pesticides.  When it comes to choosing an organic baby sun block, visit organic authority for consumer reviews.  Avoiding direct sun is also important by using a hat, covering up arms and legs, and of course, sitting in the shade.  Many doctors do not recommend the use of sun block before a baby is 6 months old, so check with your pediatricians first.

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