Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Non-Toxic Munchkin Summer Guide: Pool Party Days

1. UV SKINZ Reversible Bucket hat 2. Real Kids Shades 3. Polarn o Pyret Eco UV Rash Guard  4.Feelgoodz Kidz Animalz flip flops   5-6 Polarn o Pyret 7.  Bling20 Swim Goggles 8.Onyx 18/8 Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold 9. Aqua Rider

It is practically summer. School will be out soon (this week for us!) and those long sunny days will be full of (somehow, hopefully!)  play, fun, a bit of travel and memories in the making.

  All this free time 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 and the very last thing we want to be doing is spending our summer researching safe fun products!

In our last post, Part 1 of our  2016 (Non-Toxic!) Summer Guide, we featured our favorite products for beach fun as well as how to choose non-toxic SPF rash guards and clothing and for a word on sunscreen.   Today, we'll focus on those crazy, fun, pool party filled days.

  • Goggles
The main reason you want your kids using goggles? Chlorine Protection. I grew up with a pool in my back yard and was in that pool for hours every single day all summer long. I hated how drying the water was on my eyes, so I usually had goggles or a mask on. Turns out this is a good idea, since goggles protect your eyes from the drying effects of chlorine. My favs:
  1. Aqua Sphere Vista Junior Swim Mask : My son's like these because the lens area is extra large and allows greater visibility. 
  2. BLING2O 'Splash Lash' Swim Goggles: blinged out goggles for girls. Cool models for boys available too. 

 Showering after a dip in the pool is always a good idea (showering before is actually important too because it decreases the amount of foreign chemicals like makeup, sunscreen, sweat etc you bring into the pool that mix with chlorine to form toxic byproducts called chloramines linked to asthma and lower sperm count) Considering how moist and moldy shower surfaces can be, I always like to wear flip flops. Flip flops, especially those designed for kids with fun characters, are notoriously filled with endocrine disrupting phthalates and even lead (some models of Havaianas were found to contain lead a couple of years back). I just discovered these which are made with natural rubber and use natural, non-toxic dyes. 

Feelgoodz Kidz Animalz

  • Water Diapers
Waterproof diapers are essential for little ones. Good news is that there are some really cute options available for your little swimmer!
  1. Charlie Banana Swim Diaper Cherries - Large (18 months-5 years) : These come in super cute prints and are easy to put on and take off - and they are reusable!  
  2. Bumkins Swim Diaper, Wonder Woman Print, Large: "A soft but durable waterproof exterior holds in solid messes while bright, colorful prints add a touch of polish poolside". Adjustable side snaps allow for quick and easy changes... and also reusable and machine washable.

  • Water Play
Almost everything that is meant to be fun and placed in the pool is made from PVC (usually listed as Vinyl- a known human carcinogen that can also expose you to lead, a known neurotoxin, and endocrine disrupting phthalates). They are super fun and your kids will surely beg you for one or more of them- what to do? If you must buy a new vinyl item, plan ahead and let it off-gass... in other words leave it outside (in the shade, not sun, where there is good air circulation) and allow that horrible vinyl smell to go away before your kids play with it. Safer, less toxic alternatives do exist though! 

  1. Schlori Swim Cushions: These swimmies, made in Germany, were developed by a swim instructor and are made of 100% cotton.  They blow up simply and pack flat for easy storage in a beach/pool bag 
  2. Coast AthleticTM Deluxe Foam Pool Noodles - 4 PACK Noodle style pool toys are usually made from polyethylene foam, which is PVC-free and considered safe. 
  3. Swimways Noodle Knights Toy (Colors May Vary): another - super fun- take on the classic pool noodle!
  4. Each Aqua Rider noodle features an integrated foam character head and tail. Styles include Sea Turtle, Narwhal, Pink Flamingo, and Tiger Shark.

  • Baby/Wading Pools
Baby Pools Baby pools, or wading pools, also tend to be made of soft plastics that can contain chemicals like vinyl, phthalates, BPA and other toxic chemicals. When exposed to the sun's heat most of these chemicals will leach out of the baby pool and into your small child. Baby pools, however, are really fun and can provide hours of entertainment for little kids... so what should you do? Choose harder plastic (look for those with #2, and if not available consider #4 and #5 recycling codes),  and remember that even if a softer plastic baby pool says 'BPA free" it can still contain similar endocrine disrupting chemicals. 
  1. Step2 Play and Shade Pool: Most large retailers like Target, Walmart and ToysRUs sell this type of waddling pool for very little every summer 

  • Sun protection 
Sunscreen should never be your child’s first and only line of defense against the sun, it should go hand in hand with protective clothing and shade.
  1. UV protective 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. 

2. Sun glasses: it is equally important to protect those little eyes from the sun's radiation.The catch?  Almost all kid's sunglasses are made of polycarbonate plastic which can contain BPA or similar endocrine disrupting chemicals - so you want to be cautious  if your child likes to put them in their mouth more than on their eyes!

3. 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.


Travel Happens Wet Bag : if you have that wet bathing suit you need to bring home, make sure you don't go to any pool party without these non-toxic water proof bags. The interior is made of leak-proof polyurethane laminate lining (not to be confused with toxic polyuthrane foam )
Onyx 18/8 Stainless Steel Popsicle Mold, Set of 6  : Popsicles are a must have treat at my house in the summer- we make super tasty frozen treats with fruits that the kids love and help us all cool off.   I love that these are made of non-toxic stainless steel - no plastics to worry about - this fast freeze mold is easy to use, easy to clean, and will last you a life time. Designed so that one ice pop can be removed (or re-filled) at a time. 


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