This post is sponsored by N’visible patch, a safe and effective way to protect your kids from bug bites when playing outdoors.
With spring here and summer fast approaching, playing outdoors is an everyday event. Outdoor athletes face unique challenges as they not only battle sports opponents, they combat the outdoor elements of heat, sun rays, and bugs.
You could just tell your child what to do–here spray this on or drink this–without explaining why, but here’s a perfect chance to teach your child another lesson that will stick with them for life: how to hydrate properly, stay protected from the sun and beat the bugs.
The most important part of a young athlete’s diet isn’t what they eat, it is what and how much they drink. Drinking water or sports drinks before, during and after sports is important for children and pre-teens because they have different fluid needs than adults or even teenagers.
Water is not just something to drink when you are thirsty. Your body needs water–our bodies are made up of 60-70% water–to cool down. When the body gets hot, it sweats. The evaporating sweat cools the body. If your child doesn’t replace the water lost through sweating by drinking fluids, the body’s water balance will be upset and the body may overheat.
To keep from becoming dehydrated, your child must drink fluids before, during and after exercise. My husband, coach for 29 years, always told our kids to make drinking water a lifestyle, not just something they did right before a game or even just on the day of a game. Even worse, waiting until they feel thirsty is too late.
MomsTeam makes these suggestions for hydration:
- 1 to 2 hours before sports: 8 to 16 ounces of cold water
- 10 to 15 minutes before sports: 8 to 12 ounces of cold water
- 1 to 2 hours before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
- 10 to 15 minutes before sports: 4 to 8 ounces of cold water
All ages: Every 20 minutes: Between 5 and 10 ounces of water or sports drink, depending on weight
UV radiation exposure from the sun during childhood and adolescence plays a role in the development of melanoma and basal cell skin cancer. With more than one-half of your child’s lifetime UV exposure occuring during youth, using sun protection can reduce the risk of melanoma later as an adult. And don’t let a cloudy day fool you; Even when it’s overcast, 70 percent of the sun’s rays get through the clouds.
Here’s how to prevent sunburn and skin damage:
- Use a sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher. If fair-skinned, use a sunscreen with SPF of 30.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun to give it time to penetrate the skin.
- Apply more to areas most likely to become sunburned, such as the nose, ears, cheeks and shoulders.
- Reapply sunscreen every three to four hours, as well as after swimming or profuse sweating.
- Apply a lip coating that contains sunscreen.
- Where repeated burns occur, such as the nose, protect completely from all the sun’s rays with zinc oxide or titanium oxide ointment.
- Don’t forget your child’s eyes. Use a good pair of UVA/UVB rated sunglasses.
If your child is a swimmer, remember that water-resistant products must maintain their SPF after your child has been in the water for up to 40 minutes. Waterproof products must last up to 80 minutes. Be sure to re-apply sunscreen after wiping off with a towel.
There’s a lot of bugs waiting to feast on you and your child. Apparently mosquito bites are not always just annoying, they can bring illness too. The latest threat is the mosquito-born Zika virus. We can’t ignore the little pests anymore. (Read more about the Zika virus here.)
When choosing a bug repellant, be mindful of the fact that there are differences. For instance, many repellants contain DEET, a registered pesticide that is absorbed through the skin and passes into the blood. The Medical Sciences Bulletin, published by Pharmaceutical Information Associates Ltd. reports, “Up to 56% of DEET applied topically penetrates intact human skin and 17% is absorbed into the bloodstream.” Blood concentrations of about 3 mg per litre have been reported several hours after DEET repellent was applied to skin in the prescribed fashion. DEET is also absorbed by the gut.
The most serious concerns about DEET are its effects on the central nervous system.
That’s pretty dang scary! If you only have a repellant containing DEET handy, it’s best to wear long sleeves and long pants, and apply repellent to clothing rather than to skin to reduce exposure. Apply sparingly and do not inhale.
- DO NOT to use more than 30% DEET on anyone.
- DO NOT to use aerosol spray insecticides in pressurized containers, as they can be inhaled and/or get into eyes.
- DO NOT to use repellent mixed with sunscreen, since reapplying sunscreen every few hours risks overexposure to the repellent.
Following all these precautions reduces risk, but does not eliminate it.
Your safest bet: The worry-free, chemical-free N’visible patch. This one-of-a-kind, vitamin-based, DEET-free protection is both safe and effective. Field-tested in Africa, it protects within 30 minutes, lasts up to 12 hours, and actually improves with continuous use. The reason: Mosquitoes hunt for CO2 which is masked by the patch. No creams, lotions, or sprays to deal with. Instead, simply apply the N’visible patch anywhere on the skin—arm, wrist, chest, hand—and you’re good to go, no fuss, no muss.
It’s important that you are not so busy focusing on skills, injury prevention and playing time, that you neglect protecting your child in these three ways.
This post was sponsored by N’visible patch, a safe and effective bug protection alternative, because they care about your child’s safety.