News: protection

7 Carriers to Make Bike Riding With Tiny Ones Fun For the Whole Family

By Gen Cohen

Before we dive into this awesome list of 7 bike trailers for kids, it's important to remember to protect those baby blues with our kids' rubber sunglasses. They're light, comfortable, and they keep your junior's eyes safe from harmful UV rays!

 

 

Going for a bike ride as a family is a fun and fit bonding activity, but if you have a tiny one who isn't quite riding a bike on their own yet or can't keep up the same pace as older children, it could be difficult to execute. Don't skip the ride or have anyone stay behind — with one of these accessories, you can bring the entire family to the bike trail with ease.

Read on for seven bike accessories that will change your family's bike rides this Spring and Summer.

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11 Ways to Save on After-School Activities

By Gen Cohen

Going broke funding your kid's extracurricular activities? Try these 11 tips on how to spend less on after-school extracurricular activities.

 

1. Register early

Fill out your child's registration paperwork and pay the fees as early as possible. Some organizations give a discount for early registration, and registering early gives you time to prepare for the activity so that you can accommodate it into your budget without last minute surprise expenses, says Clare K. Levison, author of Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better. Another reason to get your child enrolled early: you don't have to worry about forgetting to do it in time and then having to pay a late registration fee!

2. Ask for a discount

Some activities offer a multi-child or sibling discount, but you may not get it if you don't ask. Even if you only have one child participating in the program, check if there are any other discounts for which your child or family might qualify. You never know. A program may give a small percentage off if you or your spouse are military or law enforcement, or if your child is on the honor roll at school. "It never hurts to ask for a discount because every little bit helps," Levison says.

3. Look for a coupon

Yep, you may be able to find a coupon for your child's baseball team or dance class. "Thanks to sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, there are coupons for just about everything now, including extracurricular activities," says Michael Catania, co-founder of the savings community PromotionCode.org. "Do a quick search for the activity along with the month and year (for example, Pony League Baseball, Las Vegas, August 2016 offers) to see if what discounts might be available before you register," he says. It's also a good idea to look for discount codes when shopping for uniforms, equipment and other required items. Even if it's only a 5 percent off or BOGO offer, those savings add up.

4. Volunteer or barter

Volunteering with the organization can often reduce or remove the participation fees for your child, says consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. "You can offer to help with bookkeeping, coaching, or cleaning a dance studio, or you could offer your professional skills, whether that be marketing or web design," she says. Whatever you do, it doesn't have to be too time-consuming. It could be as simple as running the concession stands once a week. Every little bit helps, so talk to the program coordinators to see if there are ways you can pitch in while also reducing your child's fees. A couple of bonuses: You get to spend more time with your child doing something he enjoys, and depending on the activity, you may even get in a mini-workout.

5. Do a trial run

It's frustrating and financially draining when your child asks to participate in something, you fork over the cash, and then she begs to quit a couple of weeks later. If you're not sure that your kid will stick with a particular activity, ask if there's a way to try it out before making a full commitment. Some organizations will let your child to attend a class or two on a trial basis. It may be at no cost, or you may have to pay a small fee. Either way, it will give you and your kid time to see if this is really an activity she wants to be involved in, without you having to pay (and possibly lose) the whole fee.

6. Think thrifty

Of course, there are some things that should only be purchased new (such as mouthguards and helmets), but for many other things, secondhand is just as good. Asking family, friends, or neighbors for hand-me-downs is a great way to score gently used items like cleats, uniforms, bats, and art supplies for free or cheap. Buying used can keep more money in your pocketbook too. Check out thrift stores, eBay, Craigslist, yard sales, consignment shops, resellers like Play it Again Sports, or swap sites like SwapMeSports.com. And don't think that buying used means your child will get beat up gear. "A lot of times people try something, decide they don't like it (see above!) and then they have a piece of equipment that's practically brand new that they don't have a use for anymore, so it ends up at a thrift store [or other resale shop]," says Levison.

7. Rent equipment

Rather than paying for instruments, which can be expensive, look into renting. You can likely find rental options locally or through an online dealer. Another possibility: your library. "Some libraries, particularly those in big cities, offer rentals of musical instruments with just your library card," Catania says. Since you obviously won't be able to keep a library rental for the full school year, this option is best when your child is undecided about which instrument she wants to play and trying out different options. Once she's found the instrument she likes, you can look into a long-term rental from a music store or online.

8. Make meals/snacks ahead of time

In addition to the costs of the activity, many families shell out extra cash on food and snacks. Think about it: When you're leaving a long day at work and then heading to this or that practice or game, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. So you load up on snacks at the concession stand or grab takeout on the way home—and increase your spending. "Usuallly we find we spend too much money when we find ourselves in a time crunch," Levison says. "So if you can plan your meals ahead, do your shopping at the beginning of the week, and plan easy but healthy meals on the nights you have activities, it can save a lot of time and money." 

9. Save on gas

Another area that many parents don't factor into their budget with extracurricular activities is the added travel expenses. "Organize carpools with other parents and take turns driving to practices, games, and performances," Woroch says. Since everyone's schedule is likely to be busy, reach out to others to try to create a game plan as early in the season as possible. When it's your turn to drive, make sure you save on gas. "Start off by finding the lowest local prices with an app like Gas Buddy—a crowd-sourced app that offers near up-to-the-minute gas prices sorted by zip code," Catania says. And most gas stations have affiliations with credit cards and grocery stores, so if you carry a card or shop at a specific store, look to see if it can help you lower your fuel expenses.

10. Skip the add-ons

Just because your child participates in an activity doesn't mean he has to have every little item the team offers for sale. "Professional photos, videos, and extra shirts are fun to have, but the costs can really add up," Levison says. So pass on things that aren't necessities. You can take your own photos or videos, and skip the team shirts for mom and dad and show your support by wearing the team colors instead. 

11. Just say "no" 

If your kid wants to do football, soccer and swim, you may have to give him a choice. "I think we tend to want to sign our kids up for a lot of organized activities these days, but you don't have to go overboard, especially if it's affecting your finances," Levison says. Limit your child to one activity per season, and tell him to choose the one he wants to do most. If he has an interest in something else, he can do it at home or find a community center that is more affordable than, says, private art lessons. Sure, there may be some whining (or even tears), but you have to do what's right for your financial situation. And, add Levinson, this is a good opportunity to something else that's beneficial to your child: have a conversation about budgets and the cost of activities.

 

With savings like these, you can treat you and your kiddos to rad rosmbo shades! While your kids are out playing, make sure their eyes are safe! Added bonus that our shades are unbreakable.

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Combat Your Child's Fall Allergies With These 7 Tips

By Gen Cohen

Combat Your Child's Fall Allergies With These 7 Tips

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4 essentials for a second baby

By Gen Cohen

4 essentials for a second baby

We’ve chatted SECOND BABY REGISTRY GUIDE already, but today I’m here to cover the four essentials you absolutely need when you’re expecting baby #2. Sure, everything on the registry guide will make your life easier, but I’m talking about the down and dirty four things you absolutely cannot live without if you value your sanity and your baby’s happiness. Ready?

 

 

1. A swing, bouncer, baby chair, etc.: If this is your second baby, chances are you’re already chasing around another child–washing hands, making snacks, general “parent-of-a-toddler” stuff. You’re going to want a swing or rocker to put your baby down in. Somewhere safe and off the ground (so said first child can’t accidentally step on the baby) and somewhere that will entertain or soothe her. With Oscar I had the 4MOMS MAMAROO and I found it to be far superior to any chair or swing I used with Harry. That little contraption bought me tens of minutes at a time when I needed to put Oscar down to tend to Harry stuff.

2. A good wrap or carrier: Going off that thread, you’re going to find there are times when your baby just wants to be held. Remember that from baby #1? I remember working through Harry’s late nap with him laying on my shoulder. But the second time around, things are a little different. A good wrap or carrier is worth it’s weight in gold (and then some because if it’s really good it won’t weigh much). My favorites are our SOLLY BABY WRAP and our WILDBIRD SLING.

3.A double stroller: You’ve got two kids now, so it’s might be time to upgrade your stroller. A good double stroller will make your trips to the store, your jogs, your zoo field trips, etc. easier. We actually have two different double strollers, but that may not be necessary based on the ages of your children and your lifestyle. I use a BOB SE REVOLUTION DOULIE for my runs and our walks around town and I keep ourUPPABABY VISTA in the car and take it anytime we travel. I love them both!

4. Diapers: If it seems obvious, that’s because it is. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need diapers! If your older child is already potty trained, you’ll want to get back into the habit of picking up a pack or two of diapers when you’re shopping–or you can bust out the old CLOTH DIAPERS. If you’re still changing older sibling’s diapers, you’re going to want to think about doubling up and what that means for you in terms of gear. Definitely more diapers, wipes, and maybe even a second changing station?

It’s kind of surprising both A) how much you have everything you already need for baby #2 and B) how little you actually need! What do you think–did we cover everything? Anything else you would add to the “essential” list?

 

 

...and of course, our ro•sham•bo baby sunglasses ;)

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Sun protection beyond the shades

By Gen Cohen

Sun protection beyond the shades

10 Safe Sunscreens For Kids (Including Some You Can Find at Your Drugstore)

Repost from PopSugar
Written by Rebecca Gruber

Slather on the lotion! If you thought the breast vs. bottle debate was polarizing, wait until you talk to fellow playground moms about sunscreen for children. Though lotions and sticks protect little ones' skin from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays, doctors advise new mamas to use physical barriers — SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shades (like our ro•sham•bo sunglasses!) — rather than lotions on babies younger than 6 months old.

Once tots reach the 6-month mark, though, we need to keep them protected from the sun without harming them in other ways. The Environmental Working Group's recommendations for the best sunscreens for tots — products that do not contain potential hormone disruptors — is considered the definitive list of safe options. According to EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews, it's inactive ingredients like retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and oxybenzone that parents need to look out for. "By and large, the ones that do well in our database are the ones that are mineral-based products with a higher percent of zinc oxide, as well as some of the products with titanium dioxide," he said.

While parents have been getting the message about switching from chemical sunscreens for children to mineral versions, one of the group's biggest concerns is how parents are using them. "[Consumers] are looking to buy higher and higher SPF values," Andrews said. "When people use higher SPF values, we're concerned that it leads to a change in behavior and an increased time in the sun and that you apply less of it. Those products may not be as effective in blocking both UVA and UVB radiation. So we steer consumers toward SPF 30 to SPF 50 products and lower and we really think those are the sweet spot of the products that are available in the marketplace."

He went on to explain, "The active ingredients in SPF 30 and SPF 100 products may be quite similar. So we're going to be doing more over the course of the next year, investigating the inactive ingredients like the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that may be reducing redness in the skin, but may not be reducing how much hits your skin. The way the SPF test is done is in changes in skin redness."

So what's a parent to do when trying to choose a safe sunscreen for children? First, check the EWG's site and app for a list of the safest and least safe options for your family. If you don't have that at your fingertips, Andrews recommends:

  1. Steering away from SPF products over 50. SPF 30-50 products depending on the situation are OK.
  2. Seek out products that use three percent avobenzone if they are chemical sunscreens or the ones that use zinc oxide as the active ingredient in natural versions. "[They] do the best job of filtering out UVA radiation across the spectrum of UVA radiation. Seek out products that use a higher percentage of zinc oxide — typically you'll find 15 to 20 percent, or three percent avobenzone."
  3. Look at inactive ingredients on the label. If possible, avoid products that use retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and avoid products using oxybenzone.
  4. Avoid spray products — they're convenient but not the best choice. Why skip the convenience of spray lotions? "You don't get a uniform coating on the skin," Andrews says. Plus, "Given the concern about the ingredients in these products, we really don't want to coat the inside of our lungs with sunscreen."

Read through to see these 10 safe sunscreens for kids (many of which can be found at your local drugstore — not just at specialty stores).

 

1. Drugstore Find: Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50

One of the highest-rated drugstore brand sunscreens on the market, Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick ($10) is a mineral-based sunscreen using both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to block the sun's rays. Plus, in stick form, it's easy to apply to squirmy tots and it fits nicely inside a diaper bag.

 

2. Amazon Find: Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

Adorable Baby's zinc-oxide-based Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ ($19) does not use any synthetic ingredients. The formula earns high UVA protection and balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF on the EWG list.

 

3. Drugstore Find: California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+

California Baby continues to manufacture safe and effective baby products that won't harm your tots. Its California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+ ($21) is one of the highest rated on the EWG's annual list, due to its 12 percent titanium dioxide formula.

 

4. Sephora (and Online) Find: Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion For Baby, SPF 45

A favorite brand of jet-setting moms, Hampton Sun is now gracing the bodies of their little ones thanks to its Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion For Baby, SPF 45 ($28). A zinc- (12 percent) and titanium- (six percent) based formula, Hampton Sun's baby lotion receives a high EWG rating due to its good UVA protection and its balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF.

 

5. Health Food Store Find: Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30

One of the highest-rated sunscreens on the EWG list (it has a low health concern), Badger'sKids Sunscreen Cream ($16) is certified natural, using zinc oxide (18.75 percent) as a blocker and sunflower oil as its base for easy application.

 

6. Thinksport Kid's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Thinkbaby, which was already known for its popular bottles and sippy cups, just received an extremely high rating from the EWG for its Thinksport Kid's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($10). The zinc-oxide-based sun blocker does not contain any nanoparticles, making it safe for babies and big kids alike.

 

7. Amazon Find: Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50

A natural, chemical-free sunscreen, Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50 ($15) uses a mixture of titanium dioxide (7.5 percent) and zinc oxide (10 percent) to keep skin safe. Thehighly rated lotion is available in a travel size for families on the go.

 

8. Baby Store Find: Blue Lizard Australian Baby Sunscreen SPF 30+

Blue Lizard's Australian Baby Sunscreen SPF 30+ ($19) is made specifically for kids' sensitive skin and uses zinc oxide (10 percent) and titanium oxide (five percent) for sun blockage. It received the EWG's good rating for its UVA protection.

 

9. Baby Store Find: TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+

TruKid Sunny Days Mineral All Natural Sunscreen ($19) is quickly becoming a favorite of parents and kids alike. The mineral-based lotion, which uses zinc oxide as its sunblock,received the EWG's highest rating for its nontoxic, nonnano, and gluten-free formula.

 

10. Costco Find: The Honest Company Honest Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 50+

After a misstep last year, The Honest Company is back with a new sunscreen that not only makes the grade with consumers, but is earning high ratings from the EWG. Their new Honest Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 50+ ($14) is a zinc oxide-based product (19 percent) that provides excellent UVA protection and reportedly has better spreadability than the company's previous iteration.

 

And for what you can't protect with sunscreen, protect with our 100% UVA/B/C baby, junior, and adult sunglasses for the whole family! 

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