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 strategy for staying cool and happy in the sun and heat.

1) Plan ahead with smart clothing choices such as a ball cap, sun cover, or UV protectant clothing, and your favorite sunglasses.

2) Seek out shade or a misting station.

3) Make sure you are well hydrated (DIY Popsicles anyone?).

It’s especially important to watch kids in the heat.  They can exert a lot of energy and sweat a ton playing outside.   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.

Kid-friendly hydrating popsicles:

For your liquid base, stay away from juices as they have more sugar than is ideal for liberal use.  Consider using an herbal tea (Celestial Seasonings fruit based ones are kid-friendly), almond or rice milk, or  coconut water.  With a tea base, its a good idea to use a small 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.

Choosing sunscreen:

When you are looking for sunscreen, there are good resources for finding quality choices.  I use the Environmental Working Group for their lists. They rate many products based on their efficacy and known risky ingredients.  They have different lists for kid’s products, sport and  moisturizers with SPF.

Aftercare tips for sunburns:

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.

Aside from looking like a lobster and feeling like a boiled lobster, sun damage is dangerous as it causes free radical damage damaging skin cells.  Antioxidants will help undo the free radical damage and will help you to heal up faster.  My favorite is dosing with Vit C or  NAC (n-acetyl cysteine) best.  Those two are also helpful for immune support and are good to have around the house for when needed.  That said, always check in with your Naturopathic Physician or healthcare provider 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

Naturopathic Physician