The importance of staying safe in the sun

August 7, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Summer is here! With the warmer weather upon us, we are able to spend more time outside in sunshine, going for walks, playing in the park or in the garden. However, being outside exposed to the sun, does come with a huge responsibility. Keeping your children or charges safe in the sunshine.

UV radiation can not be seen or felt and has no relation to the temperature so it can be hard to know exactly when we have had ‘too much sun’

Overexposure can cause sunburn which resulting in redness and a great deal of pain. The skin turns red within 2 – 6 hours of being burnt. Sunburn then continues to develop over the next 24 – 72 hours. The changing colour of the skin signifies damage to the skin.

However, with that being said, it is still important to ensure that we do get some exposure to the sun. Small amounts of UVR exposure is the most effective way of boosting vitamin D supply.

Ensuring your children & charges are kept safe in the sun

1. Sun cream – An essential for anyone who is going to be exposed to the sun. It should be worn to keep skin protected.

  • Make sure it has a UVA symbol
  • The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) indicates the UVB protection that it offers. Make sure the sun cream you use, has a SPF of 30 or higher to ensure maximum protection
  • All sun cream should be applied 20 minutes before going outside.
  • All sun cream should be reapplied at least every 2 hours. If you find that your children or charges are sweaty, apply more frequently. Sun cream should also be reapplied after water exposure (swimming)
  • If you child or charge is exposed to water (swimming) make sure you apply a waterproof sun cream with an SPF of 15 or higher
  • Protect your lips by applying a lip balm with an SPF in it. Make sure the factor is higher than 30.

No one sun cream provides ultimate protection, so never just rely on applying sun cream to offer protection.

2. Wear protective, suitable clothing

  • Wearing clothing can be the most suitable and effective way of keeping skin safe in the sun as clothing acts as a barrier.
  • Make sure your child or charge is kept covered with loose, baggy clothing such as over sized t-shirts with sleeves.
  • Always make sure your child’s or charges shoulders are covered as they can burn easily.

3. Wear sunglasses – Protect your eyes from solar UV radiation

  • When it comes to purchasing a pair of sunglasses, it is important to remember the Eye Protection Factor (EPF). The EPF ranges from 1 to 10. Be aware that the higher the number, the better protection they will offer.
  • Make sure that the sunglasses fit your child or charge and are not too big or sliding of their face. Ensure that they are close fitting and wrap around the eyes.

4. Wear a hat – protect your face from the sun

  • A hat is a staple for all children. A wide brimmed hat is fantastic for providing shade to the face, neck and the ears.
  • When it comes to purchasing a hat, any ultraviolet protection fabric will provide sufficient protection.

5. Find a shaded area – Don’t spend an excessive amount of time in the sun, spend some time keeping cool

  • Between the hours of 11am – 3pm, the suns UV rays are at their strongest. It is a good idea to avoid the sun during this time. You can still enjoy the great outdoors, but remember to spend some time in a shaded cool area.
  • Even when spending time in the shade, it is always important to remember to apply SPF, wear sunglasses and a hat.
  • Babies and toddlers should be kept in the shade at all times.

Remember to keep cool and protected this summer. Make sure you are doing everything that you can to keep you child or charge safe in the sunshine. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your child is kept protected, whilst still enjoying the outdoors.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

The secret to a perfect Picnic

August 7, 2017 | Leave a Comment

How to ensure you have a perfect picnic

When the sun is shining it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a picnic in the open air with friends, family and children.

Having a picnic is the perfect way to spend a sunny day. Everybody loves going on a picnic and it something that children are able to enjoy to.

Picnic Essentials:

Here are our top 10 picnic essentials that you should always remember to pack:

  1. Food & Drinks – Top picnic essentials
  2. Cups, plates and cutlery – Another picnic essential to ensure is packed.
  3. Other kitchen utensils if needed – Depending on what food you are planning on taking with you, make sure you are able to open everything and have the utensils needed to serve with.
  4. Condiments – A selection of condiments are always good to have available to go with your food.
  5. Napkins – Always good to have on standby.
  6. Ice packs – These are ideal for keeping food chilled and as fresh as possible.
  7. Picnic blanket – Having something to lay out food or sit on is always a good idea.
  8. Chairs – As an alternative to a blanket and a more comfortable option.
  9. Rubbish bags – Boring but essential to make sure you have them so you are able to clear up after.
  10. Something to keep children entertained – See below for ideas.

Things to do when going on a picnic:

To keep children entertained and happy, consider taking some of these things to keep them occupied:

  • A Frisbee
  • A ball
  • Sports equipment – Croquet, cricket stumps, tennis/ badminton rackets
  • Bikes
  • Colouring
  • Pens and pencils to draw surroundings
  • Music/ CD player

Whenever you decide to go on on a picnic make sure you have packed the essentials and have everything you need to keep children entertained. Make the most of the sunny weather by spending time outside with family and friends.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017

nanny picnic, childrens picnic, family picnic

nanny picnic, childrens picnic, family picnic

Top Tips for Starting School

August 7, 2017 | Leave a Comment

Starting School

For children moving on to primary school it can understandably be a scary time. This is true for parents as well. Every child will have a different experience when it comes to starting school, so sometimes it can be helpful to have a ‘helping hand’ and some advice available.

Tips to help your child with the transition:

Change can be a big thing for children and starting school is a big one. It may help to start to discuss the topic of school sooner rather than later so they are aware of what to expect. To help ensure a smooth transition, have a go at:

Chatting to them about school

Ask them questions like, ‘are you looking forward to starting school?’, ‘do you have any questions?’ or ‘what are you most or least looking forward to?’. Talking to them will help them to understand what they can expect and helps to answer any questions they might have.

Reading books that are all about starting school

In preparation for the first day, have a look into some books that are about going/ starting school. These are great to read to your children over the holidays or at bed time. They are specifically designed for children to help them to understand the process of going to school.

Visiting the school

Arrange a few organised visits to the school . Visit with your child so they are able to get a feel for what it will be like before their first day.

Getting into the routine

A good way to ensure an easy transition into school is to implement a simple morning routine. Have a go at practicing getting up at a certain time, getting dressed into uniform, eating breakfast and leaving on time to help build up a strong routine. Then have a go at making the journey to school so they are able to see how long it will take. It will also give them the opportunity to see what the journey to and from school will be like each day.

Enjoying your time off together

Prior to your child starting school, make plans for the remainder of the days that you have off together. Especially if your child is feeling a little anxious or worried, by taking part in a few fun activities it can help them to focus their mind on other stuff.

Not getting over emotional 

Children easily pick up on emotions. If you are anxious or worried this is not going to help your child. It is normal to feel worried for your child’s first day of school but try to relax and remain calm. This hopefully should then reflect onto your child.


Are you first day prepared?

Checklist: A few things to ensure…

  1. Have you bought all the necessary school uniform and PE kit?
  2. Is all their uniform and equipment labelled to prevent confusion and things getting lost?
  3. Does you child need a lunch bag or box and if, so have you got one ready?  For your child’s new adventure, it may be nice for them to have a new lunch box that they have chosen them selves.
  4. Do you need any other equipment? For example: a bag, a book bag, any stationary.
  5. Do you know who is going to be taking and picking up your child from school each day? It is a good idea to let them know each day who is going to be doing the ‘school runs’. You may have arranged for a nanny or a child minder to collect them from school each day. It is extremely important that your child is aware so they know you to look out for at the end of the day. It is also a good idea to let the school teachers know, so they can help your child find their guardian.
  6. Do you know your roll? Do you have to drop them off at the gates or in their classroom?
  7. Are the school aware of any medical conditions? This is an absolute must! The school needs to be aware of any medication to be administrated or what to do in case of an emergency.
  8. Does the school have your most recent contact information? An essential thing that needs to be done whenever you change or update your mobile number or email.

Make the Transition easier

Starting school for some children, will mark the first step to independence. For others it might just be a simple transition from Nursery to Primary School. You may be worried that your child may struggle to cope with the independence and not having you there to help carry out daily tasks.

To make the transition easier, make the necessary adjustments sooner rather than later. Have a go at practicing the tasks that you find your child struggles with in preparation for their big day. For example:

  • Going to the toilet
  • Washing and drying their hands
  • Opening their lunch box/ water bottle
  • Getting dressed after PE lessons.

Tackle any issues prior to their big day. This can help with any worry or anxiousness they might be having.

Starting school is undoubtedly a huge step. However, it is also a hugely exciting time as well. Make sure that your child has everything ready for their first day and all questions that they may have, have been answered. Enjoy the summer break and good luck to all children and parents kicking off this new adventure in September.

Written by Emily Martin for Harmony at Home Limited. All Rights Reserved, 2017