What Type of Sunscreen is Best for Kids?

babies in bloom sunscreenBlessed with more than our fair share of glorious sunshine, we all know how important it is to be sun smart here in SoCal.

But that doesn’t stop us from getting a little confused every now and then when it comes to sun safety, especially when we’re talking sunscreen for our little ones. With so many options on the shelves nowadays, and ever changing recommendations, how do you know which one to go for?

As it is International Sun Screen Day this week (27th), we’re sharing with you what we’ve read and know about choosing and using sunscreen on kids – we hope it helps!

At what age can I start using sunscreen?

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says sunscreen should be avoided if possible in babies younger than six months and that every effort should be made to keep babies covered or in the shade. However, if protective clothing and shade are NOT available, Healthy Children.Org advise using sunscreen on small areas of the body such as the face and the back of hands. If this is your only option, you might want to test your baby’s sensitivity first with a small amount of sunscreen on their inner wrist.

What should I look for in a sunscreen for kids?

Healthy Children.Org say that a sunscreen should have the following:

  • “Broad-Spectrum” on the label – that means it will screen out both UVB rays (the ones that will give you sunburn) AND UVA rays (aging rays).
  • An SPF (sun protection factor) of at LEAST 15 (the AAD however recommends at least 30). The higher the SPF, the more UVB protection it has.
  • Water Resistance – either ‘Water Resistant’ (effective for up to 40 minutes in water) or ‘Very Water Resistant’(effective for up to 80 minutes in water). Note, manufacturers are now banned from using misleading words such as ‘waterproof’ and ‘sweat proof’ on labels as re-applications is always required.

What about chemicals?

Many parents are worried by this. The most common sunscreens on the market will contain chemical filters – from two to six of these ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/ or titanium dioxide.

Many kids’ brands are now formulated with safer, more effective ingredients than those in other products – about 63 % of kids sunscreens contain effective mineral ingredients that provide good protection from ultraviolet-A rays, compared to 40 percent of other sunscreens says the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They have an annual safe sunscreen guide on their website which is a wonderful resource – look out for their 2016 edition here.

How often should I apply sunscreen?

Every day if you will be outside. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin says the AAD.

  • Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15-30 minutes BEFORE going outdoors – it needs time to absorb in to the skin.
  • Use enough to cover all exposed areas – especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands and even the back of the knees. Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
  • Be careful around the eyes – if you rub sunscreen in to a little ones eyes, wipe the eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth.
  • If it irritates the skin, try another brand. If a rash develops, talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Reapply sunscreen every TWO hours.

Does sunscreen expire?

The FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least three years. Some sunscreens include an expiration date but if yours doesn’t, write the date you purchased it on the bottle. If the expiration date has passed, throw it out.

What is the best sunscreen?

There is no right answer to this.  The best type of sunscreen is the one you will use again and again says the AAD. Lotion, cream, stick or spray, it’s a matter of personal choice. Pick one that is practical and appealing to you as well as ticking all the safety boxes in our ‘what should I look for’ section.

Don’t forget to look after YOU in the sun too parents! Set a great, sun safe example to your littles!

Oh and if anyone has THE secret to putting on sunscreen without tears, tantrums and toddler tackles, please let us know.   🙂

For more tips on sun and water safety, click  here.

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Boutique Best Sellers: Re-Play

IMG_4357These colorful plates, bowls, cups and utensils from Re-Play are flying off of our shelves at the moment.

They tick so many boxes that it’s no surprise to us that they’re getting rave reviews from parents. Not only are they fun and funky to mix ‘n’ match, they are also incredibly affordable. Best of all, they are so eco-friendly. Made in the USA, Re-Play uses recycled HDPE plastic for their products – that means recycled milk jugs. To date, they’ve saved over 11,000,000 milk jugs from going in to the landfill. Wonderful!

The products are all toddler friendly sized for snacks and meals, and more importantly, are toddler tough to survive all those inevitable bangs, drops and tosses. Our customers have been really impressed with how durable they are for something so lightweight and so low cost. Re-Play claims you can even run over their divided plates with a car without causing damage! Now that’s impressive.

They make a great gift bundle too. All products meet FDA strict purity standards, are BPA free, PVC free, phthalate-free and melamine-free. And, when their time is eventually up in family homes, these products can simply be recycled again. It’s the eco-gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s a couple of facts to add some further perspective on these clever tools:

  • Recycling a 1-gallon milk jug saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for 11 hours
  • One pound of recycled plastic saves enough energy to charge a smartphone for 31 weeks

As well as using smart materials, each product has a smart design with tiny, over excited hands in mind. The deep walls on their divided plates help little ones get to grips with their chunky cutlery, while their deep fill spoon reduces spills. They also have the essential spill proof sippy cup and blunt tips on their forks to avoid nasty pokes. They are all about encouraging independent eating and keeping it simple for mom and dad- as well as keeping it safe.

Available in white, pink, orange, green, red, purple and yellow, these products will stack well at home and are completely dishwasher safe – another bonus.

We currently have in stock:

  • Divided Plates: $3 each
  • Bowls: $2.50 each
  • No Spill Cups $4 each
  • Tumbler Cup: $2.50
  • Utensil Set: $1.50

Kids love them. Parents love them. We love them. Why don’t you come and visit us at the Babies in Bloom Boutique to take a look for yourself.

Hope to see you soon!

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We are Hiring!

1532153_10152949975452465_6360651513538681897_n We are growing and looking for a new member of our boutique team! The position is primarily for Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm. If you are interested, please send a resume and cover letter to rochelle@babies-in-bloom.com

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BabyFest 2016: The Highlights

A BIG thank you to everyone who joined us on Sunday for BabyFest 2016. We were so thrilled to meet you, your bumps, your partners and your little ones.

With everything from advice and support on birthing options, babywearing and breastfeeding, to natural baby care products, fresh local produce and a fun photo booth, we’re hoping you not only left with all your essentials, but also left feeling inspired, excited and empowered. Oh, and full of yummy treats from our local food trucks too of course!

If you couldn’t make it down to us this time, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few expo highlights for you:

Dr KimSUPPORT FROM THE VERY START: Those eight weeks before your first prenatal check can feel like forever right? And what about all those questions and worries you have week on week – they seem to keep growing as fast as you’re growing don’t they?

Dr Kim Van Dusen from The Parentologist took to the stage to talk about the importance of a support system, not just after the arrival of your little one, but from the very moment you find out you’re pregnant – whatever stage it might be. Dr Kim runs a weekly ‘Behind the Bump’ group at Babies in Bloom to help moms-to-be and new moms up to 12 weeks postpartum, to feel confident, connected and supported the whole way through their journey. For more details on this group, visit our calendar page here.

fashioIRRESISTIBLE FASHION: How adorable are these handmade leather moccasins from Cage and Lantern?

How clever are these no snap, no zipper onesies from EZONEZ?

And look at how fun these onesies burritos from Baby’s Got Soul are.

This year’s expo was just bursting with cool, funky and colorful fashions.

And speaking of color….

cloth diapersMYTHBUSTING: CLOTH DIAPERS

Just LOOK at this wall of color.

Beautiful, huh? Lucky Diapers, Z Creationz and GroVia were once again out to prove that cloth diapers are far from dull with their fun eco-friendly designs and hands on demos, while Spray Pal showcased just how easy it can be to keep cloth diapers clean.

The very funny and captivating Kim Rosas, from Dirty Diaper Laundry also entertained visitors with her frank talk on cloth diapering,  addressing common misconceptions around cloth diapers – from the ‘yuck’ factor and inconvenience, to concerns over whether cloth bindingdiapers can delay walking in infants. We’d highly recommending checking out her website –there is nothing this advocate doesn’t know about cloth diapers!

BENGKUNG BINDING: We loved this example of belly binding on the In Due Season Doula Services stand. As well as promoting VBAC support, they were there highlighting the possible recovery benefits of binding postpartum, which you can find in detail on their website.

babywearing1 - CopyBABY WEARING: In addition to Babywearing San Diego celebrating the physical and emotional benefits of babywearing on their stand, Ali and Karen, our babywearing consultants from the Babies in Bloom boutique, also took to the stage to talk about, and demo, the different kinds of carriers out there, from a ring sling, wrap and mei tai carrier to the more structured ones available on the market.

But don’t worry if you missed it, you can still come in to the boutique with your questions, schedule a private consultation or join the monthly Babywearing 101 class – the second Saturday of each month at 11am.

MEET THE MIDWIVES: This was without doubt our busiest talk of the day. Some of Babies in Bloom’s favorite midwives held a lively Q&A session answering anything and everything, from how actively involved Dad can be in the delivery, to the different types of birthing experiences available, be it in hospital, a birth center or home.  It was a really wonderful and warming opportunity for parents to air any concerns they might have and be reassured by these charismatic experts. No question was a stupid question. You know when you can just tell when someone LOVES their job! These ladies definitely do!

SLEEP COACHING – For many parents, Jen Varela, walks on water. A certified gentle sleep coach, Jen closed the show on a high with her top tips on how to get your baby better sleep habits. For those that missed her, she also runs workshops at Babies in Bloom, so check our calendar for future dates. It’s never too late – if you are struggling with sleep patterns and routines, a solution is out there for you.

UNTIL NEXT YEAR…

If we could go on talking about each and every stand that added such positive energy and expertise to this year’s event, we would! It was a strong team effort by all companies involved to deliver such an inspiring range of products, information and support to growing families in our community. A full list of our exhibitors can be found here.

BabyFest proudly celebrates the wealth of options available to parents today and every parent or parent-to-be’s right to choose which one is best suited to them and their family. No judgement, just support. Always.

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