Boston’s bright idea, risky play for kids, big breakfast changes, ticks and the ultimate packing list. That’s what we’re talking about this week.
1. Boston’s Bright Idea Has Us Totally Jealous
Kudos to Boston. Beantown has come up with one bright idea that has us feeling green with civic envy: free sunscreen dispensers in city parks. The Boston city councillor who proposed the sunscreen-for-all initiative says that skin cancer and melanoma are not only some of the most common cancers—they’re also sadly the most preventable. The relatively inexpensive dispensers (at least as far as city projects go—they’re about $200 per unit) were donated by two cancer-fighting charitable organizations, so the initiative isn’t even costing the city any taxpayer money. The sunscreen dispensers look a little like our own ubiquitous hand sanitizer dispensers in both size and shape—and it stands to reason that public access to free sunscreen might decrease the occurrence of preventable healthcare crises and lessen the load on the healthcare system—just like free access to sanitizer and flu shots. Not to mention that it will help out those moms who sometimes forget to slap on the sunscreen before taking their kids to the park (been there). It’s civilized, smart, and we’re hoping it catches on here.
2. A Little Bit of Risk Could Be Good for Your Kids
Free-range parenting advocates, rejoice. A new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has found that overprotective parenting, especially when it comes to play, contributes to sedentary children, and that letting kids run a bit wild can have beneficial effects on their physical, emotional and social health. Big news, considering ParticipAction’s recent annual Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, which graded kids’ activity levels at a dismal D- for the third year in a row. Injury-prevention expert and mother of two, Mariana Brussoni, expressed concern about the rise of a growing movement she calls ‘anxiety-based caregiving’—think the parent on the playground constantly telling their kid to be careful—and advocates stepping back and considering the child’s developmental best interests before making knee-jerk decisions on safety. It’s an interesting read that might trigger a little nostalgia for the unsupervised play of yesteryear.
3. General Mills Makes a Big Change
‘Breakfast behemoth’ General Mills, maker of rainbow-bright cereals like Trix, Reese’s Puffs and Lucky Charms, has announced plans to remove artificial colours and flavours from its cereals by 2017, opting to use spices and juice concentrates to colour the cereal without altering its flavour. While some food experts have dismissed the change as a marketing ploy, sugary cereal still being junk food at the end of the day—we’re happy to see a major company that actively markets to kids take a step in the right direction—no matter how small.
4. Ticking, Ticking, Ticking…into the Future
You’ve probably heard: ticks are the new mosquitos. Exciting, right? Who would have thought we’d become nostalgic for a time when a mosquito transmitting West Nile was all we had to worry about? Now ticks, and Lyme disease, are real concerns. There’s no need to panic or hole yourself up indoors all summer though—a good bug repellent and some know-how is all you need. Ticks take hours to actually burrow into the skin, so when you and the kiddos come in from a walk in the park, brush down everyone’s arms and legs and do a check-over. For tips on identifying ticks, and what to do if you find one, we like this fact sheet from the Tick Encounter Resource Center.
5. What They Really Need for Overnight Camp
Sending any all-grown-up babes to overnight camp this summer? Whether you’re terrified and they’re thrilled, or you’re thrilled and they’re terrified, we know a few things to be certain: in all likelihood they’ll have a blast, the time will fly by, and the packing list the camp gives you won’t have everything they’ll really need on it. We’ve been there, packed that, and forgotten that, so learn from our experiences. Here’s what we send our own baby Savvies off to camp with.
Have a good week!
Tagged under: Camp,play,playground,Sunscreen,packing,camp packing list,what to pack for camp,from the editor's desk,general mills,ticks,lyme disease,bug repelleant,mosquitoes,West Nile,Boston,free sunscreen,public sunscreen dispensers,cereal,risk,injury,Trix,Reese’s Puffs,Lucky Charms,International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,Mariana Brussoni