Although our summer got off to a slow start with all of the rainy weather, we’re really starting to make up for it right now! We make every possible excuse to be outside, whether it’s taking bike rides, heading to the pool, playing in the yard or even eating dinner (or an absurd amount of popsicles!) out on the patio.
One of my favorite things that we’ve done this year is to plant our garden. We actually had the garden bed built last year but amid the summer camp/swim lesson/travel a few times craziness, we never actually planted it. This year, however, we got started a little early and made it happen!
My mom bought Jackson several kids gardening books and he started us off by doing a drawing on graph paper of what he wanted to plant. Then he, Dylan and I made one trip to the garden center for a round of plants, and my mom took another trip to help us finish up. We spent a few hours one afternoon doing the planting and now hop out there every morning to check on things. At the beginning, a bunny managed to take out a good portion of our plants, but we’ve recovered and have had a ton of tomatoes, are finally seeing some beans and we’re counting down the days till we can pick our carrots!
It’s given us a really great excuse to spend time working on a project together as a family, teach the kids about growing food (they’re so proud!) and it’s a great reason to get outside while the weather is nice and spend time enjoying it!
I’ve always been obsessive passionate about sun safety and since we’ve been spending more time outside this summer, I’ve probably taken it to the next level. I make it a huge priority to coat the kids in sunscreen before we head out to tend the garden, take bike rides or head to the pool. And it’s better not to skimp on the sunscreen! The AAD recommends applying 1 oz over your body (essentially think of it as the size of a shot glass, I’m going to guess you may have an idea of how much that is, as I do!). And you should be using at least SPF 30, making sure you reapply every 2 hours to get the best protection.
We were sent these cool stickers from Priority Health, a Michigan-based nonprofit health plan, to help give us an idea on when to reapply sunscreen. You put the sticker on the back of your hand and then liberally apply sunscreen. The sticker turns darker when it’s time to reapply – and they really work! How cool, right!?
From my work with dermatologist offices in my day job, I know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, with over 5 million cases a year, and it’s also very preventable by staying sun safe! Even on cloudy days, you’re at risk, so you should make wearing sunscreen a regular practice. I know I’m really good about making sure my face is protected with sunscreen and often by wearing a hat, as well, but it’s important to take preventative measures for your body, as well. I actually now love wearing a UPF rashguard at the pool, for example!
This summer, Priority Health is doing a fun social media challenge to people to share some sun safe selfies. For every selfie posted with the hashtag, #PriorityHealthSunSmart, the company will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society of Michigan (up to $10,000 in total) to support cancer research, including initiatives specific to skin cancer.
We’re going to be loading up on sunscreen and posting ours, will you?
Thank you to Priority Health for sponsoring this post and giving me the opportunity to talk about a subject I’m very passionate about!