During the hot, humid, sticky days of Chicago summer, a day of sitting inside the house with the kids doesn't seem appealing - even if there is air conditioning to keep everyone cool. Venturing off to the local pool is a great way to beat the heat, the boredom and spend time together while enjoying the great outdoors no matter the sweltering temperatures. But going to the pool on a whim, especially with small children, doesn't make for swimming magic: parents need a bit of a game-plan and prep work to keep a day at the pool sunny and bright. Here's one mom's guide to surviving and enjoying trips to the local water hole.
Prepare for Sun
Where to prepare:
1466 N. Halsted St.
No matter how much fun was had at the pool during the day, much of the joy turns into irritation if one or all family members return home sporting sunburns. Don't neglect the summer sun-wear!
Some of our best sunwear investments include:
Sunday Afternoons hats grow with your kiddo for the course of a few years, and provide awesome sun protection for the head, face and neck.
SPF Shirts and Shorts
REI Rashguard shirts and shorts help divert harmful sun rays while protecting sensitive skin against rashes.
A Safe, Effective Sunscreen
California Baby and Sol Kid Care are two brands we've found to work well in protecting against sunburn while holding high safety ratings.
Here's a list of sunscreens with ratings is available at EWG's Skin Deep site.
Prepare for Fun
A small beach bag with a few buckets, goggles, arm floaties, rings for fetching and shovels for a sandpit can go a long way in extending the day. Day-long pool passes can be costly, and bringing a few extra fun pool-perfect accessories and toys will provide more options for fun in the water, so you can maximize the day.
If you have a baby or toddler who doesn't do water alone yet, a solarveil ring sling or solarveil pouch baby carrier will allow your little one to enjoy the water from the safety of being snuggled against your own body. Such a sling also will free your hands to help with other children while keeping your little one close. Karma Baby solarveil pouches are quality pouches and are readily available. Order as small of a size as possible to ensure good fit, and be sure to follow all sling instructions!
Prepare for Hydration and Hunger
Of course, most pools have concession areas where families can grab lunch or drink when needed, but parents with mutiple kiddos know that several bottles of water add up. Before leaving the house, fill reusable water bottles with mostly ice and some water—one for each person—to cut down on cost without forgoing hydration.
A simple box of granola bars packed in a bag provides the perfect snack, and lunches consisting of pre-washed apples and peanut butter and jelly don't need refrigeration or ice packs, cutting on the weight of the lunch/snack bag.
Prepare for Dry
(773) 404 - BABY
1654 W. Roscoe St.
Often, I've become so preoccupied with preparing for the wet, I forget about the need for dry clothes after a day of swimming comes to a close. Normally, one small towel per child does the trick. Don't forget dry underwear and some sort of container that will house the wet gear. We use a Wahmies All-Day Zippered Wet Bag made for cloth diapers but perfect for containing wet clothing, too.
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