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sun

We are currently in the midst of some absolutely glorious weather here in Seattle. Since we arrived almost 2 months ago we have had awesome weather, it has only rained once. Now, given the fact that Seattle is known for its rather soggy climate I’ve been a bit surprised by how lovely it has been (but loving it just the same). I’ve heard over and over again how unusual this weather is. The summers are usually dry and sunny here but by now the rain would have set back in along with much cooler temperatures. Instead we’ve had endless days of sun and perfect temperatures. I’ll take it. The rain can hold off as long as it likes.

We are trying to take advantage of this weather and soaking up all the sun we can. We’ve been spending lots of time outdoors because we know the rain is just around the corner (in fact according the forecast it may return later this week). Since this past weekend was more of the same perfect weather we headed outside. Saturday was spent downtown Issaquah at the Salmon Days festival the town holds every year to celebrate the return of salmon to the Issquah river to spawn. It was a ton of fun. Sunday we wanted to do soemthing a little more low key and headed out for a hike to Twin Falls.

The sun was shining, we were all in good spirits and the hike did not disappoint. We were surrounded by beautiful scenery and the falls were very pretty.

The girls had fun. Maya did a really good job on the hike, even with all the up hill walking to get up to the falls. Her favorite part of the hike was the end when we stopped and had a picnic lunch on some rocks by the river. She loved clmibing on the rocks and throwing rocks in the river. She especially loved throwing in the big ones to see if she could make a splash big enough to get us all wet. Anna enjoyed the rocks too :)

We may not get many more days like this but for now we are just enjoying this gift from mother nature.

School isn’t yet out, the traditional “official” start to summer is still a week away, and yet it’s definitely already summer. This past weekend was hot. The kind of hot that calls for backyard pools to be blown up and filled with cold water from the garden hose. The kind of hot that calls for sitting under the shade of a tree and watching the big girl keeping cool by splashing for hours in the pool.

Late Saturday afternoon my Mum arrived in town for a visit. We spent the day leading up to her arrival playing in the backyard, keeping cool in the shade. Maya had so much fun playing in her pool. She spent hours and hours splashing away in it, she was a wrinkled prune by the time she was done.

Anna splashed her feet in the pool a few times but preferred playing in the shade of the big oak tree.

We are spending this week showing my Mum around St. Louis. We’ll be enjoying trips to the wineries, the zoo, the park and many of our other favorite little spots. With the exception of today and tomorrow it is going to be HOT so I’m guessing we’ll be finding ourselves splashing in the backyard pool again too.

Today is a very hot, sunny day here in St. Louis.  Maya and I spent the morning at the outdoor pool for her swim lessons.  I saw children running around in hats, long sleeve shirts and saw moms reapplying sunscreen over and over again.  It was so nice to see so many kids having fun and so many parents enjoying themselves while keeping their kids protected from the sun.  Protecting our children while they play out in the sun is very important.  Sun protection is their best defense against skin damage and skin cancer.  It is our job as parents to make sure their skin is protected.

It can be hard sometimes, especially with older children, to make sure they always have sunscreen on, are wearing a hat, and have protective clothing on.  I think making sun protection a priority from the very beginning will help as your children get older.  They will eventually know that before they head out the door they must have sunscreen on.  It will be sort of like the seatbelt rule in the car.  No sunscreen, no outside play!

Here are a few tips on making sure your children stay protected while they have fun in the sun this summer.

  • Avoid the strongest rays of the day.  The suns rays are strongest during the middle of the day.  On really hot, high sun index days try to avoid being outside in the direct sun.
  • Cover up.  The best way to protect the skin is to cover it with clothing.  Use loose fitting, cool, comfortable clothing to cover your child’s skin.  You can even buy clothing with built in SPF protection.
  • Provide a shaded area for play.  If you will be spending a lot of time in the sun, like at the beach or the park, make sure there is a shady area for them to spend some time and cool down.  Take a large umbrella or a tent along with you.  Encourage your kids to take a break from the sun by hanging out in the shade.
  • Use sunscreen.  Apply sunscreen before you head out the door and then reapply every 2-3 hours, or after your child has been in the water, all day.  If your child will be in the water make sure to use a waterproof sunscreen.  Even on cloudy, cool days your child should still have sunscreen on.  The UV rays are still damaging to the skin even if the sun itself isn’t out.
  • Use hats and sunglasses to protect your child’s face and eyes from the sun.  Hats are especially important for fair haired children or babies will little or no hair.  It may be a battle to get your child to keep the sunglasses on but try it anyway.

Playing out in the sun is what summer is all about.  Kids would spend all day outside if we let them.  You can help your child stay safe in the sun by being careful, keeping them protected and monitoring their sun exposure.

Have fun this summer and stay safe.