Its no secret, Croats have really nice tans. Having 108 days of sunshine per year certainly helps.
Growing up, my nana would run after me with a bottle Olive oil trying to convince me to apply it to my skin, ‘so you can have a nice tan like your cousins, you are so white. Like a cheese”. Good old nana M and her words of wisdom.
I suppose nowadays, there is a lot more awareness ( read: scaremongering) about the dangers of too much sun and skin cancers due to sun exposure.
I was surprised to learn that we don’t get adequate amounts of Vitamin D in the UK ( here and here) and as a new mummy I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of people are scared to let their kids play out in the sunshine.
Moreover, I was talking to Mark about this and noticed the differences in our upbringing when it comes to Do’s and Don’s in the sun. While I agree that children’s skin is more delicate and vulnerable, they are not completely made of glass. I believe that there is a way to enjoy nice weather sensibly.
Having spent many summers with my grandparents in sunny Croatia, I wanted to share how to sunbathe the Croat way and how to protect yourself and your babies from sunburn:
- Avoid going out between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.
- Beach time with our little one starts at 8am and ends at 11am, just in time for her first nap. Then back again from 3pm to 6pm
- We always find a spot in the shade under a tree where we set up camp – then one of us can stay with the baby in the shade and the other one can shuffle a little more in the sun or go in for a quick swim.
- Apply sun cream liberally all over. Remember that you can still burn in the water as it reflects the sun, as my nana would say.
- We gave up on the UV tent after trying one last summer, it was blazing hot in the tent and we had more space and a better breeze sitting on our towels under a big old pine tree.
- Keep you and your little ones hydrated. Beaches will often have showers with a drinking water tap and cafes are happy to serve tap water along your cappuccino
- We like taking some toys or Duplo building blocks to keep Lila entertained and encourage her to play in the shade.
- Take plenty of changes of costumes and little T-shirts that you can pop on them quickly to keep them dry and cover them.
- Definitely do use your common sense to avoid burning and extreme sun exposure
We apply the same principles to us grown ups. I have used Factor 50 for years, even though I am not the type to burn easily (true story, my friends have been making fun of me for this for years) I like using a sun cream that has little to no added nasties and that spreads easily.
Last year, when Lila was a little baba, I found I caught a tan, even though I wasn’t in the sun much at all. I spent 99% of our beach time going really early when before it got hot and even then we were hiding away in the shade for the most part.
NHS Guidelines for safety in the sun.
Wellness Mama Benefits of Sunbathing
How do you keep your little ones safe in the sun? Comment below, or take it to Twitter@fabulousmummy1!