Summer is almost here, and that means you and your family will spend a lot of time outside—at the beach, by the pool, playing sports, or enjoying the outdoors. It goes without saying that your family needs adequate sun protection. While the only sure-fire way for you and your family to avoid all the sun's damaging UV rays is by covering up with shirts and hats and hanging out in the shade, that may not always be an option, so we need to resort to using sunscreen. What would summer be, after all, without the ritual of slathering up the children with gobs of UV-blocking goo?
While many sunscreens promise a lot to the consumer (especially those with sky-high SPF 50+ ratings), do they really deliver the protection the advertise? Fortunately, the Environmental Working Group's 2016 Sunscreen Guide is available to help sort the good sunscreens from those that won't help much.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Fairfax Cycling Camp, who offers some tips for families on bicycle safety. Visit them online at www.fairfaxcyclingcamp.com.
From cargo bikes laden with young children, to parents and kids on their own bikes, the popularity of biking is growing in Marin and nationwide. This is something to celebrate! The health benefits of biking are numerous, and consuming less gas gives the earth a little extra breathing room. As cyclists and owners of Fairfax Cycling Camp, we are happy to share some tips and resources to help you bike more safely with your child. We teach our campers these skills every week during our summer mountain bike camp.
Helmets, Helmets, Helmets!
Helmets are required by law for all children under 16 in California. Helmets protect your child’s developing brain from trauma which could come from even a seemingly small bump.
Just like on an airplane when you are told to secure your own oxygen mask prior to helping another, make sure your helmet is on properly before biking with your child. This does two things; first, you are protecting your brain and doing your best to make sure you’ll be around to take care of your child in the event of an accident; second, you are modeling appropriate behavior for your child. Research consistently shows that children learn by watching what the adults around them are doing. You are setting an example for your child, one that you hope they will follow long after they’ve begun riding on their own.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article from Cindy Winter of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC).
For the past 15 years, Marin parents and civic leaders have worked to create safe pathways and road crossings that encourage walking and cycling to school, short-distance errands, and recreation. We’ve seen astounding progress in the numbers of kids transporting themselves safely, healthily, and happily. But now, there’s a problem.
Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM) has nearly completed its plans to widen Highway 101 from Corte Madera Creek to a short distance south of Wornum Drive. The project is needed to resolve the difficult merging of traffic lanes, both north and south. However, as part of their plans, the pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the freeway from Fifer Avenue to Industrial Way will be torn down and not replaced.
Of all the creatures you can run into on the trails of Northern California, one that most people seem to be afraid of is the rattlesnake. While several different species of rattlesnake live in California, the variety we have here in the Bay Area is the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus). While chances are you'll never be bitten by one, it's important to know how best to avoid them and what to do if you are bitten. After all, we do live in snake country. I've never actually run into one while hiking, but I know plenty of people who have.
Unfortunately, rattlesnakes are very common in the hills of Marin and the Bay Area, so it's quite possible you will meet one on a hike one day. There's actually been an increase in rattlesnake sightings in Marin recently, quite possibly due to the unseasonably wet weather and profusion of small animals that are the snake's normal prey.