Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.
I have two little guys who worship the outdoors.
Whether it’s a day at the beach, summer camp or a lazy evening in the backyard, it’s hard to convince my kids to spend any part of the day (or night!) indoors. In fact, they’ve both been begging me to have a “sleepover” on the trampoline overnight… I haven’t caved yet, but that’s only because I have no intention of sleeping outside to keep watch over them!
However, as much as they love being one with Mother Nature, I’m not always at ease. If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you may remember this post from 2015 – “Skeeter Syndrome.” In it, I describe our long-suffering battle with Ryder’s allergy to polypeptides in mosquito saliva. At 9 years of age he still hasn’t built up an immunity to the toxin injected in mosquito bites, so preventing them is our top priority.
(You may be thinking, What? It’s just a bug bite! Read my post. We’ve landed in the hospital twice and paid a Mexican doctor once for bug bites.)
Now I *could* be that helicopter parent who keeps her kids indoors at all times, but have you seen how happy my kids are in the wild? I can’t kill their joy. So, I do my best to protect them. Here’s my list of outdoor essentials.
Sunscreen. It’s 2017, so of course my kids are wearing sunscreen. I’m often asked if I have a preferred brand or product category – I don’t. I truly believe the best sunscreen for your child is the one their skin tolerates well (no discomfort or reactions), is easy to apply and is affordable (because ideally, you’ll be using it every day). Find a brand that works for you and stick with it.
Bug Repellant. This one’s a no brainer for me. When choosing a bug repellent, look for one that is safe, effective and provides long-lasting protection. You’ll also want to make sure they contain active ingredients such as DEET or Lemon Eucalyptus Oil.
I actually have two recommendations that I both use and trust:
Ben’s 30 Tick & Insect Repellent. (DEET) Ben’s 30 Tick & Insect Repellent offers protection from ticks and insects that may carry West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, Zika, Malaria or other infectious diseases. It provides up to 8 hours of effective protection, and Ben’s 30’s unique formula is made to evaporate slowly – so the repellent stays on longer with little absorption into the skin.
Natrapel Lemon Eucalyptus Spray. Natrapel Lemon Eucalyptus is a DEET-free formula that provides up to 6 hours of protection from biting insects and ticks. The repellent has an active ingredient derived from a natural plant base (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus) which provides a cool refreshing scent.
When using bug repellent, remember to use just enough to cover exposed skin and never apply it under clothing. Always wash it off when you return indoors.
After Bite. Even if I take all the steps to avoid them, bug bites are bound to happen. And when they do, I immediately apply After Bite. The gel contains baking soda and tea tree oil to soothe the skin and stop the itch and pain. We all know that scratching can lead to infection, so it’s incredibly important to treat bites as soon as possible. Keep After Bite at home, in your car, in your tackle box and camper.
We don’t let insect bites – or the threat of insect bites – ruin our outdoor fun. I’m pleased to share that Ryder has not had a reaction this summer (yahoo!) but then, we’ve also dramatically reduced the number of bites with the proper use of bug repellent. I suppose a trampoline sleepover is still in the cards – I’ll need to convince my husband to take one for the team!
One lucky reader will WIN an Outdoor Essentials Prize featuring After Bite, Ben’s 30 DEET repellent, Natrapel Lemon Eucalyptus Spray and a Ben’s Ultra Net. The value of this prize is $75! To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck!
This post is sponsored by Tender Corporation. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.