Summer is here, along with popsicles and days lounging by the pool. But if the sound of taking your children with you seems to take the fun out of this summer past time, think again. These 8 pool approved tips will make any day out in the sun effortless:
1. Be sure to time your sunscreen
I've had my share of wrestling 3 kids into putting on sunscreen, but there are a few hints that make that fight easier. I find that "spray on" sunscreens work well for wiggly kids, and it dries quickly. Always use 30 SPF or higher as well as one that offers a broad spectrum of sun protection, and don't forget about an SPF lip balm as well.
To avoid the frustration of putting on sunscreen while your kids are itching to jump straight into the pool, put on the protection beforehand.It takes about 30 minutes for sunscreen to be absorbed in your skin. Having your kids sun screened up at home means they can avoid the wait and get swimming ASAP.
2. Be (swim) fashion forward
Enrolling your kids in swimming lessons can help them feel more confident in the pool. Wearing a life vest or other flotation device can also be helpful - that's where the fashion statement comes in. Bring your kid along when you pick these out, so they feel they have say in what they wear at the pool.
Even if you are swimming with a lifeguard present, brush up on your first aid. Take swimming lessons if you are uncomfortable in the water. Drowning is an obvious and unfortunate risk of swimming, and children require constant supervision while in the water
3. Shampoo your goggles
How are you supposed to enjoy your swim with foggy goggles? Keep things crystal clear by using this trick: Rub a little baby shampoo on each lens, buff it out then wipe away for a fog-free swim. Tear-free formula will help avoid soapy eyes, but be sure to wipe out the excess product out of the lens.
Bring foods that can be a quick refuel for your kids, so they can get back to being in the water. Food52 has taken awesome snacky-foods and put them in a bar form. This means you can cut favorites (like granola or DIY cranberry newtons) into bite-sized perfection.
Though mason jars are as darling as they are useful, avoid glass when going to the pool. Do not fear, peanut butter jars make a great way to transport veggies and dip. Take an empty peanut butter jar, fill the bottom up with the sticky stuff, and add celery. You can use the same technique with hummus at the bottom and carrots, peppers, or other veggies on the top. Swimming burns calories, so your kids are going to be hungry. Keeping protein-filled snacks close will help avoid hunger-induced meltdowns.
5. Opt to be hydrated
A day out in the sun, complete with swimming and running around, is a recipe for dehydration. Make sure your kids are drinking plenty of water while at the pool. Bringing hydrating foods (think more than just watermelon) basically does this for you, as does toting aroundflavored waters. Your kids won't miss sugary sodas with those flavor combinations and snacks.
6. Don't shirk shower time
If possible, have your kids shower before and after they swim. Dry hair is like a sponge for all those chemicals, but rinsing hair before getting in the pool cuts down on the harsh chlorine. Also, a quick shower afterward (bring travel sized shampoo and conditioner) lets you avoid a waterlogged bathroom when you get home. Plus, your kids come home clean with swimming suits rinsed out and ready for the next day in the sun.
7. Double up the wardrobe
Driving kids home in wet swimsuits is not going to be fun, especially for a baby. Would you like to sit in your wet suit in a hot car? Bringing a change of cool and dry clothes will make the ride home that much easier. Be sure to bring a waterproof bag or plastic sack for the wet swimming suits.
If you did catch too much sun on your day at the pool, there are (thankfully) tips for making a sunburn less painful. Add 6 cups of whole milk to your child's bath to help ease the burn. If kids will sit still, applying some cold greek yogurt for 10 minutes can also help.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.