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Tags: summer

Safety in Paddling Pools

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Kids Activities , Tags: garden, paddling pool, safety, summer, swimming

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Paddling pools are incredibly reasonable at the moment and for a small amount of money you can pick up an inflatable pool that is great fun!  Here are a few important tips to keep the children safe in and around the pool.

  • Never leave a baby toddler or child in a paddling pool even for the shortest time. It takes a moment for them to slip under the water which can be fatal. Children can drown in the smallest depth of water.
  • If you need to leave them to get something, or to answer the front door or the phone, take them out of the pool while you are away. Make it clear they are not allowed to get into the pool without you there.  Take small children who may not understand or be able to follow instructions with you, keep them out of the garden while you are absent.
  • Check the temperature of the water to make sure it is not too cold (if you've just filled it) or too warm if it's the end of a hot day. With enough sun, the water can get very warm.
  • The grass may get wet and slippery around a paddling pool so be aware of the potential for accidents when the children climb out.
  • Suncream is essential in the summer so keep the children covered up even when playing in the paddling pool. Keep them in loose clothes (T-shirt and light trousers or leggings) if there is a lot of sun.
  • Make sure the children are aware that inside the pool is very slippery. Suggest they kneel rather than stand if unsteady on their feet.
  • Keep an eye on any bees or wasps that might find themselves in the pool. Remove them with a slotted spoon to ensure they don't harm or sting the children.
  • Make sure the children walk and don't run round the pool so they don't trip and accidentally fall in.
  • Remove all toys at the end of the day so no one is tempted to reach in and get something from the pool and accidentally fall in.
  • Keep an eye on the dept.  After rainfall it could be more full than when you last looked.

Enjoy your pool!

Ouch! It's a bee sting!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Days out , Tags: bees, outdoors, stings, summer, wasps

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At this time of year, its lovely to be outside in the warm weather but there are also some unwelcome bugs and insects that are beginning to show up too. Children are often afraid of wasps or bees as they buzz around and its hard for them to enjoy themselves sometimes for fear of being stung.

Try to explain that:

  • on the whole, not many people are stung by bees and wasps when you think how many people are outside over the summer months.
  • they should try to stay calm and still if one comes buzzing around
  • wipe up after eating chocolate or ice lollies as the sugary smell will attract wasps
  • don't wear perfumed sun cream
  • always wear shoes outside even on the grass as bees and wasps do settle on the ground
  • use non-perfumed shampoo and soap as the sweet smell is attractive
  • use unfragranced baby wipes to wipe up spills/faces rather than the fragranced sort

If your child is stung:

  • try to stay calm.  Stings are painful but are rarely dangerous.  Deal with the shock first so give plenty of support and comfort.
  • elevate the stung area to reduce swelling and apply an ice pack or cold compress.   A wet tissue soaked in water is good as the children can hold this to the sting themselves.
  • if symptoms persist go to the doctor.
  • if it was a bee sting, try to find it and remove it.  Scrape the sting away side ways so no more poison is injected.  Wasps don't leave a sting behind.  The advice is not to use tweezers as if not done expertly, it can mean the sting goes further in and can be even more painful.
  • if the sting is somewhere dangerous (mouth or throat) act quickly and get the child to the hospital as swelling could block their airway.  Sucking on an ice cub or drinking ice cold water can help in the short term.

How to Keep Kids Cool in the Summer!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Kids Activities , Tags: children, hot, hydrate, ice lollies, keep cool, snacks, summer, water

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Now summer is here, the children can't wait to get outside in the warm sunshine, but what can you do to keep them as cool as possible on the hottest days?  Here are a few ideas!

  1. Squirt - find some water guns and have a water fight!  Or, use an old washing-up liquid bottle which are possibly easier for little ones to use... just squeeze rather than pulling a trigger.  Or, if you have any water sprays for plants, fill these with water and have fun!
  2. Set some ice to freeze in the freezer the night before.  Colour the ice cubes with food colouring and watch them melt in the paddling pool.  Or, use larger containers: ice-cream tubs make huge blocks, or fill sandwich bags with water to make funny shapes.  You could float plastic mini beasts in the tubs before freezing so the children can watch the creatures appear as the ice melts!  To make clear ice, boil the water in a kettle first to remove the air.
  3. Fill the paddling pool and have story time with your feet in the cool water!   A great idea for calming the children down before nap time and nice and cool for you too!
  4. Put cartons of juice in the freezer and use them for drinks.  If you defrost for a while, before you need them they will be icy cold.  Or freeze tubes of yoghurt so they make a creamy icy snack.
  5. Eating ice lollies can be expensive, so make your own!  Make lolly pops by freezing juice in paper cups and pop a lolly pop stick inside.
  6. Making a crushed ice drink is a fun way of keeping the children hydrated.  Make up a juice in a plastic cup and pop in the freezer.  Keep stirring to break up the ice crystals as they form and when half way between drink and ice, serve with a straw.
  7. Cool snacks such as strawberries, watermelon, grapes and cucumber taste refreshing straight from the fridge, so keep some prepared ready for a quick fruit feast.
  8. Make a den using old sheets and frames such as an ironing board, clothes airer, chairs etc.  It will be cooler inside and keep the kids occupied for ages.

Have fun, and keep yourselves as cool as cucumbers!

Do You Put Enough Sun Cream On Your Child?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Health, Family, Childminders and Childminding , Tags: summer, sun protection, suncream, uva, uvb

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According to the Daily Mail, one in ten parents do not put enough suncream on their children! This is a staggeringly high figure when you consider that British children have the highest rates of skin cancer in Europe and that the previously price-prohibitive lotions are now cheaper than ever before.

The study carried out by SunSense (an Australian suncare brand) found that a quarter of parents don't think it necessary to apply sun cream before going off to school or nursery every morning in the summer months.

The fact remains that although it seems the British sun is a less frequent visitor and that it feels less "hot" than when abroad, we do still need to protect our children's skin. On a cloudy day, 80% of the harmful UV rays still penetrate the cloud which is why getting sun burned can happen when it's not bright sunshine.

Children are exposed to greater levels of UV rays than adults. They play outdoors, they are more inclined to wear shorts and sleeveless t-shirts and they have long summer holidays which are filled with playing in local parks and gardens where the sun beats down.

Sunburn in chidren can double the risk of skin cancer causing deep seated damage that only becomes apparent later in life.

UVA OR UVB Protection?

UVA light is made up of:

  • UVA rays: these are the rays that cause premature aging
  • and UVB rays:these are the rays that cause burning.

BOTH increase the risk of skin cancer.


The sunscreens that offer the best protection are those that have both high UVA and UVB protection. The UVA rating is not always listed on suncream. It is measured in stars out of five (the best being five out of five). The UVB rating is measured in SPF (Skin Protection Factor). A high UVB rating  is around 50 although some brands go even higher!

Children should always wear sun screen with an SPF of at least 30 and for small children it should be at least 40.


Sun cream should be applied 30 minutes before going into the sun and re-applied every 2-3 hours. If you go swimming, it should be applied again after drying off.

How Much?

People often don't put enough sun screen on their children. About 1-2 tablespoons should be enough to apply for a baby. About 2-3 tablespoons for an older child and adult.

Enjoy the sun... but be careful!


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