Sun Protection for Children

Rash Guards Provide Sun Safety for Kids

Summer is a special season for children, a time to get outside and play without the worries of school and homework. However, these carefree days can be dangerous for your children. A minor sunburn might not seem like such a big deal now, but later in life, the damage caused by that burn could end up being deadly.

What Can a Sunburn Do?

Sun damage caused in the early years can come back to haunt us later on in the form of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Studies have shown that adults who spent a lot of time outdoors during their childhood are most likely to end up with skin cancer, whether melanoma or another form.

A bad sunburn can cause lasting problems, including scarring. While the sun’s rays are necessary for our health, they can also be damaging. The best way to prevent problems for your children in adulthood is to protect them now while they are playing outdoors in that beautiful sunshine.

How to Protect Your Child

The sun is usually strongest during the middle of the day, so it is a good idea to keep your children indoors between 10-3. By letting them play outside while the sun is slightly weaker, their sunblock will last longer. Remember that water can enhance the power of the sun’s rays, so being in the water during this time isn’t much protection, in fact, your children are more likely to burn.

A good place to start is with a child-safe sunscreen with an SPF of at least 25, more if your child has fair skin or is sensitive to the sun. There are some great sunscreens out there that even include a vanishing tint so you can see where you have applied the sunscreen, which is awfully handy when you are trying to slather a squirming toddler.

For many years, the only way we could protect our skin and that of our children was with sunscreen or sunblock, but there are some innovative new ways to keep the UV rays from damaging your little one’s sensitive skin. You can now buy UV protective clothing that have super high SPF protection built in.

Rash guards, a form of UV protective clothing, are specially designed shirts that cover the entire torso and arms, providing high quality protection. By using these rash guard shirts, you eliminate the need to apply sunscreen to most of the body. You will only have to make your child stand still long enough to apply it to his face, legs and hands, a huge bonus for most moms.

Rash guard shirts are designed to be used in and around the water. Choose a bright color and you won’t have any troubles spotting your children in the crowded water. The SPF doesn’t wash out of rash guards, so you don’t need to worry that the clothing will be less effective after a few hours in the water.

In addition to using rash guards, your child should use a baseball hat or other wide-brimmed hat that will shade his face. Since sunburns can happen even on cloudy days, it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen even when the sun isn’t brightly beaming.

You really can’t go overboard with sun protection, since it is so important to a healthy future for your children. Using a combination of sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat and UV protective clothing is the best way to keep your children’s skin in great, cancer-free condition.

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About Subodh Jain:

How to Make composting Simple as Dirt

Tyler Weaver:

All right, let’s make this really easy. I want you to devise a home composting program. I know it sounds all technical, but the reality is that it’s extremely simple to do. If you don’t compost, you’re a bad person–no, I’m kidding. However, you are missing out on the many benefits such a minimized amount of trash in the house, great gardening soil and another thing you can make the kids do if you don’t feel like it. I’m going to break down the different types of composting for you to see which one works best for you.

Dig a Hole in Your Backyard. Or Your Neighbor’s.

Depending on how your living situation is laid out geographically, you need to find a place to dig a hole for your scraps. I have a tiny house in the city with an even tinier backyard, but I manage to keep a 2′ hole chugging along just fine. Maybe you live in an apartment complex, and your neighbor has a small plot of dirt…so ask them if you’d like to compost together. Fun for everyone.

I prefer throwing food scraps in a hole because a) it’s the cheapest option at zero dollars, and b) because those compost turners aren’t very awesome in my opinion. Yes, maybe there’s a model out there that works, but none that I’ve seen.

So Many Compost Tumblers to Choose From…

Although I just bashed compost tumblers, I’ll suggest one that may work even though I don’t use it myself. Look for a tumbler that rotates end over end, as opposed to spinning horizontally. This is because the material will get mixed better if the whole barrel is flipping around. If it spins horizontal, all the material in the center just kinda sits there.

As I said that, I realized that in a vertical compost tumbler, material may sit in the center. However, I don’t think this is nearly as likely and since it takes more effort to turn it, it must be moving around more on the inside. Anyway, if you live somewhere that wild animals like to dig food scraps out of your backyard, a compost tumbler will keep your material safely away. I have cats that sometimes hang out in my compost pile, but I like cats so who cares. I’ve seen squirrels eating some fresh scraps that I threw in the pile, but I think that’s cool that I feed the squirrels anyway. Notice I didn’t mention about the smell yet…I’ve personally never noticed a smell with composting, so using a tumbler to contain the smell is a moot point for me. If you keep the ratio right, you have nothing to worry about.

Oh Yeah, How to Compost…

While I’m at it, I should mention how to compost. It’s pretty simple. Keep a good mix of leaves, twigs and grass clippings for your pile: This is your carbon. As you add new food scraps (nitrogen), always add more carbon material.

Keep the pile in good shape by turning it over each day. This may sound frustrating, but remember that if you’re adding food scraps to the pile every night, then you’re already going out there to begin with. You want your pile to be relatively moist looking, although you don’t have to water it. When you start to see worms in there, that’s a good sign. One more thing, I forgot to mention that you should get a little Tupperware container for the kitchen to hold your food scraps. Food, coffee grinds (worms love this), laundry lint, it’s all good. So get out there and get composting.

Hopefully I made composting seem pretty straightforward for you…that’s because it is. It’s not smelly, dirty or weird; it’s what needs to be done to reduce our garbage and provide ourselves with excellent gardening soil. Even if you don’t garden, you probably know someone that does. Give them the gift of compost and get something else in return.

Of course, I can get really in depth about composting as there is an art to it. Remember, it doesn’t need to be that way. I’m just being nerdy. On the most basic level, you can keep your kitchen smelling better, have less wet mess in the bottom of your trash can, lighter bags of garbage and fantastic fertilizer. So get into it…I dare you to not enjoy it.

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