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Usually at this time of the year we are looking forward to summer and all that summer means to us. Regardless of whether we are in the actual school building or distance learning, the same precautions prevail each and every year as we head into the hot weather.

Heading out for some fresh air and sun while physical distancing? Don’t forget to slather on a broad- spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. The higher the number, the more protective the sunscreen, but it does not protect you longer. Broad spectrum blocks both UVA and UVB equally. The protection will last for up to two hours but if swimming, you’ll need to reapply it sooner. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the sun is especially strong, so you should limit time spent in the sun or cover yourself up during these hours. Wearing hats, SPF “rash guard” shirts and other clothes that are SPF protective are helpful in decreasing your exposure along with good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes. Skin and eye protection are important in safeguarding yourself and your children against developing skin cancer and melanoma.

Many people have recently taken up bicycling. Maybe your child just received their first two-wheeled bicycle? A quality bicycle helmet is not only law for those under 17 years in New Jersey, but also imperative to prevent brain injuries. Helmets are also required for roller skating and skateboarding. Helmets must be rated and certified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be sold in the United States. Fit is important, and you may find a 3-step fit test here:  https://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/helmet_fit_test.pdf

In the event that you have an accident and hit your head, the helmet must be replaced.

During this time of physical distancing, many of us have started new hobbies. Maybe your child always wanted to go fishing. Now that the parks are starting to reopen, fishing is a great family activity.  Planting a garden, even two or three plants in a pot, is relaxing and you get to watch it grow and maybe even get a tomato out of it!  Other hobbies that have recently enjoyed renewed interest are sewing, cooking, board games and arts and crafts. Time has slowed for many people and they have found time to try some new family activities. I, myself, am waiting for that tomato!