Victoria has had beautiful weather so far this year and with the beautiful weather comes the need to be sun savvy! It’s always good to have a plan for how to stay cool and happy in the early heat and sun this year. Planning ahead by being smart about clothing choices with a nice ball cap or sun cover, bringing good UV eye protective sunglasses will help keep everyone feeling well. Seeking out shade and staying adequately hydrated (DIY Popsicles anyone?) are also very important. Popsicles are one of my favorite things in the summer. Not only are they, ultra kid friendly but they are also a handy option to add in extra nutrients, electrolytes, foods or calories, or even supplements if needed.
For your liquid base, stay away from juices as they have more sugar than is ideal for liberal uses. Consider using an herbal tea (Celestial Seasonings fruit based ones are kid friendly), almond or rice milks, or even coconut water. With a tea base, its a good idea to use a pinch of salt and honey if you are using the popsicles as electrolyte support. For a creamier base, consider using yogurt, coconut milk or even avocado blended in with your favorite fruit.
If you’d like to be more creative, consider layering different mixes. Perhaps, a berry tea with mint frozen in the bottom of the mold, layered with lime green tea. Some kids like to have whole pieces of fruit to eat around and others prefer the fruit to be evenly blended or even swirled in.
When you are looking for sunscreen, there are good resources for finding quality choices and I always use the Environmental Working Group for their lists. They rate many products based on their efficacy and if there are any known toxic substances. They have different lists for kid’s products, sport and moisturizers with SPF.
And then what to do if you (like me) burn no matter what you do? Aloe gel applied to the burn will help to soothe the skin and a cool compress with vinegar can help pull out the sting. There are commercial preparations with topical anesthetics but just be a little careful about not overdoing it once the pain has eased. Antioxidants will help undo the free radical damage caused by the burn and will help you to heal up faster. I like dosing with Vit C or NAC best. They are also helpful for immune support and are good to have around the house for when needed. Its always worth checking in with your Naturopathic Physician before adding any supplements to check if they are safe for you.
And with all that, go enjoy the sun and soak up some lovely Vit D. ~ Dr Kellie
Dr Kellie Ferguson