It is important to protect your child from the day they are born from this UV radiation as skin cancer takes some time to develop – up to 20 to 30 years and in Ireland; we typically have fair, light coloured skin that freckles or burns easily and we can be more at risk than other nationalities.
Here are some tips on how to keep your child safe in the sun.
So, that’s it for another year, I suppose. Summer is over – well, at least the school holidays part of it is. September is practically upon us and on the 21st of the month it will officially be autumn. We will, of course, hold out for an unseasonable heat wave, but I think we can safely get on with the business of packing away the barbeque, the sun cream and the picnic blanket, and start fishing out the warmer jumpers and long sleeve tops from the back of the wardrobe.
The summer of 2009 will go down in the record books as another fairly dismal one. We did experience a few weeks of successive hot, sunny days. It was back in June, if you’d forgotten. For a few idyllic weeks it actually became possible to plan ahead for a picnic or outdoor play date without having to make a rainy day contingency plan. We flocked to the beaches, played for hours in the parks and, despite the lurking threat of swine flu, we looked and felt altogether quite healthy. Of course, we had the usual months of torrential rain the rest of the time!
I, for one, am happy to wave a rain-soaked goodbye to summer. Why? Well, summer is great in all the obvious ways, but it also brings with it lots of things for mothers to worry about. When it is anything like a ‘proper’ summer, we worry about wasps. We worry that the children are eating too much ice cream. We worry about whether to put on a blanket on the baby at bedtime. We spend the sunny days we do get running around trying to re-apply sun cream or hats to non-compliant bodies and heads. We feel guilty about being inside, but worry about the heat when we are outside. We forget to move the paddling pool from time to time so it creates a small crop circle in the back garden (or maybe that’s just me?!). We get cabin fever when it’s raining and we also get annoyed about the rubbish weather an awful lot.
So, although it may seem a little bah humbug of me, I am happy to leave the summer months behind and welcome the onset of autumn with open arms. I will finally be able to relax as I look forward to crisp, sunny days when I can wrap the boys up cosy and warm and take a layer off again when they get too hot from running through the leaves. And if it rains, so what. It’s supposed to – it’s autumn.
I am sick, sick, sick of everyone moaning on about the rubbish summer weather we are having. Really, did we expect anything else? We may have – quite rightly – got our hopes up when June looked like such a promising start, but you’d think by now, and especially after last year’s dismal performance by the sun, that we would know to have our raincoats and wellies on high alert at all times.
As a stay at home mum, I find it tough coming up with things to keep little minds occupied when faced with yet another rain-filled day. It feels as though things would be so much easier if we could just have a pleasant picnic tea in the garden, or go for a stroll to get an ice cream. However, the weather has no sympathy for frazzled parents who are verging on the edge of cabin fever.
More often than not, the rain sends us running to the nearest indoor play centre which, although guaranteed to be a hit with the wee ones, is not the most credit-crunch friendly of options day in, day out. So, it’s time to get resourceful!
In a concerted effort to turn a negative into a positive, I recently sat down and wrote a list of ideas for simple rainy day activities. Most, you will be familiar with, but may have forgotten about. Some may only keep the little ones busy for 10-15 minutes (but that’s long enough to grab a much needed cuppa and a jaffa cake)! Most will result in a mess, but hopefully all the ideas will help to see you through the wettest and rainiest of the remaining days of summer 2009 (September 21st sees the official end of the summer, so start counting!).
Rainy Day Activities
- Indoor Teddy Bears Picnic – grab the un-used picnic blanket, get the children to gather up their teddies and have a pretend picnic on the kitchen floor, or make a few sandwiches and have a picnic lunch.
- Hide and Seek – always a winner.
- Musical bumps/statues – also a great excuse to play the new CD you haven’t got round to listening to yet (if the kids will let you play your own music!)
- Dressing Up – no need for fancy Sportacus or Snow White outfits. Just grab some of your own clothes and shoes, beads, hats etc. and let their imaginations run wild!
- Bake some cupcakes – surprisingly quick and simple to make. If you can’t face the thought of actually baking with children in the kitchen at the same time (!), bake some on an evening and let the kids decorate them the next day.
- Washing Up – fill the sink with water, bubbles, plenty of plastic bowls, cups and plates and let them get stuck in!
- Sticking, painting, colouring – cut up old magazines, find some scrap paper and let them at it. Print colouring pages of your children’s favourite characters from the relevant website.
- If all else fails, put on the raincoats and wellies and go and find the biggest puddles you can. The children will love this but do have dry clothes on stand-by for the minute you walk back through the front foor!
If you’re looking for more ideas, The Toddler’s Busy Book and The Pre-Schooler’s Busy Book by Trish Kuffner are full of great activity ideas for children.
So, no more reasons to complain about the rain. Let’s face it, we’d only be complaining about the heat and wasp stings if the real summer weather had arrived!