Sunday, May 22, 2016

Non-Toxic Munchkin Non-Toxic Summer Guide : FOR THE BEACH BUM

Non-Toxic Munchkin Summer Beach Bum Guide (links in post!) : 1. UVSkinz 2. Flap Happy Flap Hat with Tie - Chambray Blue Seersucker 3. UVSkinz sun hats 4. Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen 5. ThinkBaby Sunscreen 6.  Pura Stainless Steel water bottles 7. Solartex Girls 8. Zoe B Organic Fantastic Beach Toys  

Memorial Day is around the corner and there is really only one thing on my mind: Summer! 

 School will be out soon and those long sunny days will (somehow, hopefully!) be full of play, fun, a bit of travel and memories in the making..... this entails a lot of planning on my (and most mom and/or dads) end, so the last thing we want to worry about are our kids being unnecessarily exposed to toxic chemicals. I just don't want to deal, and I am sure you don't either.

Never fear, Non-Toxic Munchkin is here, with our 2016 (Non-Toxic!) Summer Guide: because you already have to spend your time figuring out what you are going to do with the kids while school is out - now you don't have to spend your time figuring out what the safest products for them to use are!


But first,

Let's talk sunscreen. 


Everyone should be wearing sunscreen on a daily basis (and reapplying), especially during summer. With the amount you will be applying all over you and your child's biggest organ (your skin), it makes sense, then, to buy a sunscreen that will protect you and your family from the sun's dangerous rays and not expose you to numerous dangerous chemicals. The good news? Today, there are is a plethora of safe, non-toxic alternatives available. There is no reason NOT to buy a safe non-toxic sunscreen; you just need to know what to look for and which to choose, because the one you have been using since you were a child might not be the safest option.

The bad news? In the Environmental Group's 2015 report, researchers from EWG discovered that 80% of the sunscreens on the market offer “inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone and vitamin A,” naming Neutrogena as the brand most at fault for promising sun protection without delivering.

To find out how your sunscreen stacks up, or to find out how to best choose a sunscreen (other than those mentioned below) read our post " 

THE BEST AND THE WORSE SUNBLOCKS FOR KIDS: IS IT TIME TO TRY A NEW SUNSCREEN?


For The Beach Bum
  • Sunscreen 
  1. thinkbaby sunscreen SPF 50+ benefiting LIVESTRONG, 3 ounces: I like Thinkbaby because it is available in so many mainstream stores and the price point is not too high! 
  2. Beautycounter Protect Stick Sunscreen, SPF 30: Safe and easy for fussy kids (like mine) to put on themselves. 
  • SPF clothing
My kids won't go out into the beach or pool without their rash guard- which is great because it has added sun protection.... however not all SPF rash guards and clothing are created equal. You want to avoid clothing that gets its sun protection by being sprayed with chemicals, instead look for clothing that achieves the sun protection through tight weaves of the fabric. Our favs:
  1. UV SKINZ UPF50+ Boys Long Sleeve Sun & Swim Shirts-Orange/Navy-5 This company's Founder was a mother of three boys when she lost her 32 year old husband to skin cancer. Commited to " bring products to the market that can help families live sun safe while never forgetting how important it is to LIVE and HAVE FUN outdoors.: she founded UV SKinz. " UV Skinz are sun shirts that are not made with any chemicals or lotions. The UV protection is in the tight weave of the fabric." The offer SPF clothing for the whole family.
  2. SUN EMPORIUM Baby Girls Swimwear Rash Shirt Ruffle Sleeve Set - UPF 50 18M -Multi-Color
  3. They have the whole family (adult, kids and babies!) covered offering everything from bodysuits, long sleeve and short sleeve tops and hats.
  • Hats
Hats are another must have for every summer activity, especially those long days building sandcastles by the shore! Lucky for us moms, hats are super in style right now - you can take your pick from what style you like best - but not all offer the same type of protection (read more below)

For the littlest munchkins, I love hats with flaps on the back.... my main tip? get them used to using them early on. My 3 year old hates hats and I need to constantly be running behind him trying to get him to wear one. A good option is:

For older kids, there are plenty of stylish and cool options, but keep this in mind when choosing their hat:
  1. Straw hats: will not give you adequate sun protection unless it has tightly woven cloth fabric lining the inside
  2. Baseball hats: do well protecting your face and nose, but offer no protection the back of the neck and ears. Make sure you use plenty of sunscreen in these two areas if you opt for this type of hat. 

  • Beach Toys
It is tempting to buy our kids cheap plastic beach toys since, let's face it, many of these get lost and have to be replaced every year. However, many of these plastic beach toys can contain BPA or similar endocrine disrupting chemicals. Add to that, long hours being exposed to sun and saltwater, and you have plastics that could be deteriorating and leaching some nasty chemicals into the air or, if you have little kids, into your children when they place these items in their mouths. Oh yeah, and they are bad for the planet since they will be around for hundreds of years - probably somewhere in our sea. Instead, consider these:
  1. Zoë b Organic makes a corn based plastic toy set, that is biodegradable, toxin free, and made in the USA. We have had them at home for about 4 years and they are as good as new. According to their site, "if they get accidentally left on the beach and washed out to sea, they’ll completely biodegrade in 2-3 years (same results in fresh water, compost, or buried in soil)." It feels good to buy something that won't be around in a landfill or, worse, floating in the ocean, hundreds of years from now.
  2. Green Toys Sand Play Set, Green These are cute and made from 100% recycled plastic. No BPA, phthalates or PVC and meets FDA food contact standards - 

  • Water Bottles:   
When spending the day in the sun you always want to make sure you and your kiddos are hydrated.  Avoid plastic water bottles since some could leach chemicals, especially when exposed to the hot sun for hours (yes, even BPA free bottles can contain similar endocrine disrupting chemicals).  Instead:
1.  Pura Sport 18 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Silicone Sport Flip Cap, Plastic Free, NonToxic Certified, BPA Free:  I am obsessed with these and every single family member in my house has one.  Why?  lightweight stainless steel and absolutely no plastic.  none whatsoever. They also come in different sizes with different sipping options (5 oz for infants, 11 ounce, 18 oz and 28 oz: I love the largest size listed here for adults and older kids.   For younger kids the smaller size with sippy or bottle top is ideal).

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