Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunscreen for Your Natural Baby

You may have heard by now that staying out of the sun can actually CAUSE cancer. This is because studies have shown that vitamin D is beneficial to preventing cancer, and because vitamin D is produced in our bodies by the sun.
But if you have a baby, what do you do? First, don't slather on the sunscreen. If you opt for sunscreen, look for a natural one. I don't know how safe these are, but check the ingredients and do your research. Use a natural sunscreen sparingly, and only when you will be outside for extended hours in the heat of the day.
If you will be at the beach this summer, use a tent to cover your baby's play area. Allow her to venture out toward the water without sunscreen so that she can soak in some healthy rays. Be aware that sun bouncing off of the sand can come up and burn a young child. Also, make sure you use sunglasses to protect your baby's eyes. A hat with visor works well, but if your baby will wear sunglasses, go for it!
Once your baby is a toddler you will know whether or not he burns easily. Neither of my children burn, and they get darker and blonder throughout the summer. But my stepdaughter constantly burns. If you have children with varying skin types, you will need to watch the "burners" more carefully than the "tanners." But all should be allowed some time under the sun!
The best "sun time" for babies and toddlers is before 10 am and after 4 pm. Keeping these in mind will help naturally keep your baby from burning. If you go outside first thing, and only after 4, there is very little chance that your baby will get burned, no matter what you cover him with. When you are unable to work around those times, you might want to look into swim wear that covers more than bottoms!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

All Natural Mosquito Repellent

When you go outside during summer, you probably find yourself scheduling activities around the mosquitoes that come out just around dusk. Or perhaps you live in an area where the mosquitoes are out all day long. What do you do? I know that most people use products like "Off" but if you are reading this, you are probably not like most people!

The problem with mosquito repellents is the chemicals that are used in them. Most problematic is "DEET" which experts have said we should avoid. Other experts disagree, and no matter whom you want to trust, there is a reason why most bottles of insect repellent state that you should wash off after use. The question becomes: Do I want to trust people who can't agree on this topic, or should I err on the side of caution? I always "err" and so should you. That is part of being a natural parent, and part of always trying to do the best for our children and not just what everyone else is doing.

You can get an all natural mosquito repellent that comes in "full strength" for older children and adults, and "baby strength" for those under 12 months. One ingredient among the all natural ingredients is Lemon Eucalyptus, which is on the CDC's list of suggested insect repellents. According to the CDC, "Oil of lemon eucalyptus, a plant- based repellent, is also registered with EPA. In two recent scientific publications, when oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the US it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET."

Other ingredients in this "Bug Stopper Spray" work in conjunction with the lemon eucalyptus to provide you and your family the best possible protection.