Today is officially my kids’ last day of school. I’m sure there are other parents out there who, like me, are trying to cram in a full day of work and the last child-free errands for several months.Children leaving school

While you’re running around gathering new toys for the sandbox and bathing suits for your growing kids, don’t forget these four summer must haves:

  1. Sun protection. The trouble with sunscreen – even the most expensive ones – is that the skin absorbs them in about two hours. This means that in order to keep your kids protected, you’ll need to reapply every two hours. Hats and sunglasses will help protect scalps and eyes from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Bandages. My kids and I used to call the first few weeks of summer break “boo-boo season.” Inevitably, your child will fall of her trike, trip on an uneven sidewalk, or misjudge a step. Be prepared by carrying a small plastic bag with a bandages and antibiotic ointment. This will allow you to protect the wound without ruining the day – just be sure to clean it thoroughly when you get home.
  3. Reusable water bottles. If your kid doesn’t like drinking water, summer’s a great time to wean him off the juice boxes! Filling a reusable water bottle before heading out the door takes just a few seconds. It’s healthier, better for the environment, and even the most stubborn child won’t turn down a cool sip of water after playing in the heat.
  4. Your smartphone. So, you don’t want to be that mom who checks her phone, sitting on the bench while your kids play. The truth is, we’re all that parent at some point in the day. You might want to take pictures of the kids, add something to your grocery list, check on a project at work, read your favorite blog, or consult a dermatologist.

To save rushing around every morning to gather what you need while the kids bounce off all-things-breakable, take a minute in the evenings to wash and refill your water bottles. Also, consider designating a summer fun bag that you keep fully stocked with hats, sunscreen, and bandages. Make it a grab-and-go kind of summer so you can have fun too!

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