Just like many moms during summer, Bianca Gonzalez's "number one worry" is the heat and how it affects her kids. That's why, the TV host and podcaster takes precautionary measures to protect the skin and general health of her and her husband JC Intal's two kids Lucia and Carmen.
"Their routine after school, ligo agad," Bianca tells Smart Parenting in an interview at the recent #LoveMoreWithEveryTouch event of Johnson's Baby global brand of consumer health products. The celebrity ambassador adds that Lucia, 7, and Carmen, 4, get home at around 3:30 p.m. and 12 noon, respectively.
Bianca then encourages her daughters to apply baby lotion on their skin as the brand that she endorses is "light and it makes skin breathe," as well as "nakakatulong na lumabas ang pawis." She also reminds them to "always drink water" to avoid dehydration.
"If maglalakad sa labas," she points out, "mga 5 o’clock na ’yun, mas mahangin at tsaka hindi na tirik na ang araw."
When Bianca, along with JC, takes their kids to the beach or to the pool, she has a few must-dos: "Sunscreen is big for us, lalo na kung magsu-swimming ang kids. We reapply the sunscreen siguro every one hour. My kids are morena as well, so mabilis talaga silang masunog ang balat.
"Right after, ligo, because there are chemicals from the pool. Then super lotion kasi ang bilis mag-dry ng skin ng bata. Makakatulong din ang pulidong pag-shampoo."
Summer skincare tips for babies and kids
At the same event, we got to talk to Dr. Wilsie Salas-Walinsundin, a pediatric dermatology, for advice on skincare:
Opt for comfy clothes
Instead of the usual long pajamas in synthetic fabric, for instance, go for sleepwear made in cotton. At daytime, have your young kids wear sleeveless tops or sando and shorts that are also made in cotton.
Use mild soap for bathing
Dr. Salas-Walinsundin recommends bathing once or twice a day not only to keep kids clean and fresh but also to avoid getting miliaria, or what Pinoys call bungang-araw.
Just a few reminders: "When you use soap, no harsh soaps. Akala lang ng mga mommy, pag pinawisan ang bata, antibacterial soap agad. Just water and the friction of any cleanser on the skin will rid of the skin of the dirt. So, mild cleanser pa rin ako.
"Kahit malalaki na rin ang kids, mild cleanser pa rin. Kasi ang mga body odor naman, it’s a different story, e. Cleanser cannot remove it. Even if they use antibacterial soap, it won’t be removed.
"Every time you strip the skin off moisture, through bathing or cleansing, you have to put it back again. How? Use simple lotion and moisturizer, not heavy cream. Ointment and cream, hindi masyadong advocated. Malagkit, at hindi talaga tatanggapin ng mga bata."
Maintain good ventilation at home
It's okay to stay in a airconditioned room, but during power outages (which typically occur more often during summer), it's best to go out of the house. The pediatric dermatologist points out, "Sa labas, mainit din naman, but somehow may nagsi-circulate na air."
Aside from letting your kids drink more water, you can also try rubbing ice cubes on their skin to feel refreshed. Just be wary about urticaria in children, Dr. Salas-Walinsundin cautioned: "Pag nagpantal, kailangan gamutin. Kasi it’s an allergic reaction. I-make sure mo na walang urticaria, walang hives formation. Kasi extreme heat and extreme coldness can cause hives."
Do not apply sunscreen to babies and young kids
The skin doctor for kids, who holds a clinic at the East Avenue Medical Center at The Medical City Clinic (Santolan Town Plaza), doesn't advocate putting on chemicals on children 3 years old and below. Instead, she recommends avoiding the sun between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
But if you and your kids need to go out or enjoy the beach, you have to provide sun protection for your kids by making them wear clothes that cover the skin, a wide-brim hat, and a pair of sunglasses. When taking them to swim, dress them up in swimwear, such as rashguard, with ultraviolet (UV) protection.
Read here for more tips to keep your kids safe during the summer months.