Signs of summer are all around us. Warmer weather often means barbecues and picnics. After months of being cooped up, we’re itching to visit with friends and family, even if still socially distanced. While those summer barbecues are wonderful, there are still some things for parents to consider at backyard parties.
This one might seem obvious, but it’s one of the most important things for parents to consider at backyard parties. You’re likely to be outside in full sun and protecting the skin is crucial, for both you and your baby!
Sunscreen is generally not recommended for babies under 6 months. Use an umbrella or canopy to minimize sun exposure. Use lightweight clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that if there is no option to keep a baby out of direct sun, a minimal amount of sunscreen can be used, even on young babies.
For older babies, kids, and adults, make sure to apply sunscreen liberally and often. I’ve heard of moms setting a timer — it can be hard to remember to interrupt the fun at a backyard party or pool to reapply. It’s also important to apply early to let the properties take effect.
There are a wide variety of options to use in different SPF ratings and products. The Skin Cancer Foundation has a helpful sun protection product finder.
Chances are a backyard party will mean exposure to new things. And new things open up the possibility to allergies.
Even sunscreen risks an allergic reaction. I once had a doozy of a reaction. I can still remember going into the doctor’s office, and having him call the nurse saying, “Come and see the worst case of conjunctivitis you will ever see!” Since then, I have used a natural sunscreen.
While natural products are great, check out the ingredient list of sunscreens and bug sprays. Be aware of any essential oils or other ingredients that may irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Food is often the backbone of barbecues, and exposure to new foods is important to consider at backyard parties. Strawberry season is in full swing in a large part of the country. Those delicious red berries can be a common food to trigger a reaction. Be aware of how allergies might look in infants.
Packing some baby- and kid-friendly foods with you in a small cooler or lunch bag might be a good idea, especially if you’re not sure what will be served. At a lot of cookouts, it’s a safe to assume that there will be some hot dogs and burgers grilled up. Hot dogs can contain some not-so-great for you ingredients, but if you do decide to offer some to your child, be sure to cut them up into very small pieces as they can be a choking hazard.
If you are breastfeeding, something to consider at backyard parties is what you are consuming. I interviewed Philip O. Anderson, the author of the National Library of Medicine’s LactMed database, about the effects of coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, alcohol, garlic, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and more!
Before you indulge in a cold one, there are things you should know about breastfeeding and alcohol consumption. Should you decide to have a beer, glass of rosé, or a margarita, there are ways to minimize the risks of alcohol while breastfeeding. Above all, the most important thing to consider at a backyard party if you’ve been drinking is to have a designated driver.
One of the most important things to consider at a backyard party or any outdoor event is stay hydrated. Thirst isn’t always a good indicator of hydration when you’re outside in the heat. Signs of dehydration in adults are thirst, headaches, lack of or dark colored urine, muscle cramps, and cool, dry skin.
At a lot of sporting events and barbecues you’ll find Gatorade in coolers. While Gatorade has no proof of improving milk supply like is often rumored, the green kind can make your milk green, so don’t be alarmed if that happens!
Carrying a sturdy water bottle so you don’t have to hunt for water will encourage you to stay hydrated. Members of my staff rave about these stainless steel double walled bottles for both kids and adults.
What are things you consider at backyard parties? What are your favorite tips? Share in the comments below!