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Top 5 Things to Do to Have Fun on a Boring Summer Day

5) Start a garden! not only will this kill lots of time but it will provide you with some of the fruits and veggies that will be tastier and fresher than anything else you can get. Its also fun to get out and learn the process of development by watching your garden sprout up and out of those tiny little seeds, you also stay cool when playing in the dirt or while watering. This gets onto the list because of the amount of fun time it provides but takes #5 because of the amount of work and space needed.

4) Watch a movie! we used to go to the movie theaters to get some free air conditioning and good entertainment. When i got a bit older instead of paying $ 10 a person to get into the theater we thought it a good idea to buy our own projector. This saved money in the long run and we could have movie night anywhere we wanted including outside on a cool summer night. This got fourth on the list because of the cost involved but its still nice to do now and then.

3) Pick up a camera! This is a great hobby to start up one summer because you can incorporate photography into any activity or you can make up adventures for the sole purpose of capturing a beautiful picture, and you don’t even need a professional camera! this gets number three on our list because of its ability to adapt to any situation to lead to a fun adventure.

2) The Water balloon launcher: This toy not only keeps you cool but is incredibly fun and mostly for the diversity of different things it could be used for. Me and my friends used to make a few of these and we would set up on both sides of the park and literally have wars with rules that were always changing and evolving to make the games more entertaining and refreshing. This always of course led to mischief in public places and often times things other than water balloons would get loaded in the launcher. You can use your imagination with this toy and you can also easily take it anywhere outdoors and have fun with it and because of this it gets number five on my list. After you get your hands on this toy you will be occupied for at least an extra two weeks of summer. In one of my blogs i tell you how to make your own launcher at


1) Its usually free, it can take anywhere from 15 min to an entire day of your time and can take you into various adventures and sights. Number one on our list is Hiking. Not only can you stay cool by hiking to a waterfall or spring and take a dip but you can get some exercise in, have a good time with friends, and see some beautiful scenes. Some of the greatest adventures in my life have happened on hiking trips and for that reason alone hiking gets number one. So go out and see what you can find! Best of all you can combine many of the other ideas with this one.

Author: Ryan Vander Werff from Manteca California, outdoors man and thinker.

Find More Atopic Dermatitis Articles

The Ultimate Summer Eczema Care Guide

Another great post from – Natural remedies for eczema to soothe your itchy little world..

Summer is finally here and we can’t wait to lounge outside and catch some extra rays! If you suffer from eczema, then you’ll know that a change in weather can either be a great thing or the WORST thing for eczema.

To start the season off right, we wanted to share our Ultimate Summer Eczema Care Guide to prepare you for the hot weather ahead, while staying in control of your eczema flare-ups.

Please keep in mind that although these tips have worked for several eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

Stay Cool

Sweat is a big eczema trigger. To keep cool, wear 100% cotton or bamboo clothing. Carry a towel around with you to dry off any sweaty spots and always change out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible. 

Spend Time in the Sun

You may be surprised, but sun has been proven to reduce skin inflammation associated with eczema and other skin conditions (1). Sunshine helps the body produce more vitamin D, which can helps improve the symptoms of eczema. Vitamin D supplements have been proven to help those with cases of severe eczema during winter months (2), so why not get a dose of natural vitamin D from our glorious sun?

Read More about Vitamin D and Eczema.

But be careful! Just because the sun is good for eczema, doesn’t mean you should stay in it all day long. Be sure to limit your hours in the sun to 15 minutes at a time and let your skin relax in some shade every so often. For longer periods of time in the sun, it’s still important to cover up your skin with sunscreen in order to block out damaging UVA and UVB rays.

Use Natural Sunscreen or Sunblock

If you’ve read our blog in the past, you know that many eczema treatments include harsh and unsafe chemicals that can irritate the skin. Well, it’s equally important to use natural sunscreen if you have eczema!

Some great choices for sunscreen are those that include zinc and as few ingredients as possible. As a general rule of thumb these are called sunblocks as they physically block the sun with minerals. Make sure to also stay away from products containing fragrance or perfume, and instead opt for natural and unscented sunblocks.

Check our recommendations for the Best All Natural Sunscreens for Eczema.

Head to the Beach

Spending time at the beach with your feet in the sand and listening to the surf roll in is so therapeutic and relaxing. And since stress is one of the most common eczema triggers, a day at the beach could actually help your eczema. So, tell your box you need a day off to head to the beach! Ha! Lowering your stress levels aren’t the only benefit you’ll find at the beach. The ocean’s salt water is also known to work miracles for many individuals with eczema.

Many believe that minerals like magnesium in salt helps provide therapeutic relief and can help soothe dry skin too. In fact, Epson Salt and Dead Sea Salt baths can replicate the ocean experience in your own home!

Be careful though! If your eczema has any open wounds or cuts, salt will only make it more painful. Therefore, salt water treatments are not recommended for oozing or weeping eczema.

Pool Precautions

We recommend salt water based pools rather than chlorinated pools. Chlorine is very drying and is quite a toxic chemical. If you have your own pool, try moving to a salt water system. Sadly public salt water pools are less common and you’ll usually find chlorinated pools in public settings. And that’s ok! Don’t let chlorine stop your summer pool fun! Just take a few precautions to keep your skin safe.

Moisturize your skin really well the morning before you plan to swim. You can even apply it again just before diving in, to protect the skin, if you have a thick oil based balm like the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream. Don’t soak in the pool for long periods of time. Always rinse off very well after any time in the pool. And apply your favorite moisturizer again afterwards.


After any type of sun, beach or chlorine exposure, you’ll want to make sure your eczema prone skin stays well hydrated. Our Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream is a soft and creamy oil based balm that is extremely soothing and perfect for dry skin. I usually lather this cream on myself after sun exposure and it keeps my skin smooth and dry-free throughout the rest of the day!

Pest Control

Mosquitos and other pesky insects don’t shy away from eczema and can even be drawn to you more if your skincare has a scent they find interesting. Most bug sprays contain alcohol, which can burn open wounds, as well as toxic chemicals that are dangerous for all skin types and especially bad for those with eczema.

Some natural pest control options are citronella candles, bug repellent bracelets and bug sprays or balms with essential oils like this one from Badger Balm.


Lastly, know that what we eat, affects your entire body – especially your skin.

The above tips might help keep your eczema hydrated at the surface, but eating healthy and knowing which allergens to stay away from will also help wonders.

Eating foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts, healthy and more will definitely keep your skin looking great. It’s also important to drink water throughout the day, so as to keep skin nourished and fully hydrated.

Healing from within is critical for eczema. Learn more in Our Eczema Elimination Diet Success Story!

You shouldn’t have to worry about eczema flare-ups, especially through the summer! Try these tips above and let us know what you think in the comments below.


  1. Epidemiological studies of the influence of sunlight on the skin. Berg, M.
  2. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation for winter-related atopic dermatitis in children. Camargo, Carlos.

The Ultimate Summer Eczema Care Guide appeared first on Come read more about natural remedies for eczema!

Tips to Reduce the Eczema Itch During Summer.

I used to love summer.  That was before I had a child with eczema.  Suddenly I came to dread the summer months, as instead of improving Miss T’s skin (as everyone was sure it would) it became much worse in the warm weather and she would be constantly covered in eczema and hives.

Miss T dressed for the sun.

The heat can make our children incredibly itchy and it’s often a real challenge to keep them cool.  Although for many eczema sufferers sunshine improves their skin, for some the sun means big flare ups and itchy nights with little to no sleep at all.  Children with eczema tend to be warmer than the average child.  It’s as if their body’s thermostat is set slightly higher than normal and so keeping them cool is really important in trying to break the itch-scratch cycle.

We often get asked by parents how to keep their children cool in the summer months.  Here are some of our suggestions, along with some innovative ideas that parents have suggested to us.


When the sun came out Miss T was desperate to run around with the other children outside.  Bare legs were an absolute no-no as it would be only minutes before she had scratched them until they bled.  Very lightweight pure cotton leggings and long sleeved tees really helped and meant that she could still wear pretty dresses and skirts over the top.  Out of desperation for something pretty for her to wear, we also designed these lightweight ninja trousers.

Ninja trousers to stop itchy legs

The buttons on the cuffs were to try to limit her legs exposure to grass pollen and also to stop her being able to pull them up and scratch behind her knees!

Cooling Creams

We’ve always kept our emollients in the fridge during the summer months as applying a chilled cream can really help to soothe the maddening itch.  One mum actually applies cream to the inside of her little ones pyjamas and then puts them in the fridge (inside a sealed bag) to help cool him down at bedtime.

Wet Wrap Therapy

Using Wet Wrap Therapy is a fantastic (and far easier) way to keep an itchy child cool at night and also a great way to add moisture back into their skin. First bathe the child to soak their skin and then pat dry and apply a heavy layer of cream or balm.  Next dress your child with a damp layer of bandages or wet wrap suit and then add a light, dry layer of clothes over the top.   As the water evaporates it has a cooling effect which can really help to relieve the itching.

Wet wrap suit to add moisture back into the skin


With the warmer weather comes the added irritant of increased pollen levels.  Try not to let your child play in freshly mown grass and keep their skin covered in a light material at all times.  Pure cotton or bamboo fabrics allow the skin to breathe and are much less irritating than man-made fabrics. If pollen is a known trigger for your child then it’s worth considering drying washing inside, away from airborne pollen that can attach itself to clothes.  Unfortunately dust mites also thrive in warm weather so washing bedding and sofa covers more frequently can really help too.

Paddling Pools

Splashing around in a paddling pool is a rite of passage for most children.  However it can be far more challenging when your child has eczema.  We would apply moisturizer an hour before we went out, followed at least half an hour later by sun tan lotion.  As soon as we got home we would have to bath Miss T and reapply all of her creams. We found that Green People’s Organic Children’s sun tan cream is the only one that didn’t irritate her skin, but a lot of parents also swear by Sunsense Ultra.

A few years down the line and we are coping far better in the hot weather, although we still get flare ups, and a high pollen count is also a trigger for frenzied itching. Probably one of my most memorable summer days was the first time Miss T went out with bare arms and legs – such a simple thing for most children – but a turning point in her eczema and so a very special day for us.

For more tips on helping with eczema take a look at our Top Ten Tips.





Everything For Eczema

Eczema, food allergies, and summer travel

Midsummer it’s hard to find time to post. We’re taking two weeklong family vacations not so far apart and with planning and packing and then getting swamped with work when you get back there’s not much time to write.

Two aspects of traveling are relevant to this blog: how to take your eczema pharmacy along with you, and how to handle your kid’s food allergies.

Last Saturday we got back from a trip to a family camp in the Sierra Nevada. It was awesome. I didn’t think about work for a whole week and was so stress-free that I could jump in the pool whenever I felt like it and strut around in just my bathing suit. You’ve got to enjoy these times when you have them.

We ate in the camp mess hall. The staff were great about telling us what the ingredients were in all the food. Often they could give us a special dish without nuts or dairy, which are the two things my daughter’s allergic to. But of course, she’s a picky eater, and you can never tell what she’s going to go for.

When we got back, I read about a tragic incident at a summer camp near Sacramento where a 13-year-old girl died after one bite of a Rice Krispies square containing peanuts. My daughter doesn’t have an anaphylactic reaction to anything–not yet–but this was a sober reminder of how deadly nut allergies can be.

Our next trip starts on Wednesday when we fly to Nova Scotia for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. We often go to NS in August and last year, coming back, we spent an extra day in Newark airport thanks to United Airlines, which we are NEVER FLYING AGAIN. I had run out of any moisturizer or steroid, which was my fault–but try finding fragrance-free moisturizer in the airport shops. Not going to happen. By the time we got home, my eczema was out of control and took several days to cool down to a point where I could appear in public.

Also, being out of food and having a kid with allergies in an airport was a different kind of nightmare. You can’t find an ingredient list anywhere and everything seems to have nuts or dairy or whatever. My daughter was essentially reduced to eating potato chips for the better part of 24 hours, but we did gamble on getting her noodles from a random Asian restaurant. Just glad, now that I know she’s allergic to sesame, that Asian restaurants in airports are far from authentic.

So this year? I’m going to bring too much moisturizer. And we’re going to pack a day’s worth of safe food for my daughter.

Hopefully we won’t need it–we’re flying Air Canada.
End Eczema

Summer Baking Class with Ella

We are almost half way through our summer holiday.  We’ve had some lovely family days out, seen family and friends.

There have also been days where we’ve had nothing planned and just spent some much needed time at home and in the garden.

As Lucy’s nursery is a day nursery, it doesn’t operate with terms or holidays and is open all year round apart from Christmas and New Year.  When I gave up work in December, I knew we wouldn’t be able to afford to keep her in nursery the three days a week she was attending but I also knew how much she loves it there and how much she gets out of going.

She’s made some lovely friends and it gives her the chance to spend some time on her own, to learn, socialise and gain some independence.  I didn’t want to take her away from all that completely. So for the last few months, she has been going for just one day a week instead of three.  Her time there is rapidly coming to an end as she starts pre-school at a more local nursery in September, but more on that soon.

That means that during school holidays, I get a day a week just with Ella. Quality time with her doesn’t happen that often now she is at school and with Lucy around too, it’s been ages since just the two of us did something together.

I started looking for something to do and came across an advert for a summer cooking class. Knowing how much Ella enjoys baking or helping in the kitchen and that she just loves anything interactive and creative, I booked her a place.

The class was lovely and this week we were making chocolate chip cookies.  Ella and another little girl who was also 5 were the eldest there. As most of the children were younger, that meant the pace was nice and slow so Ella had no problem keeping up with what was happening and there was plenty of time to carry out each stage of the recipe.

The children had to share utensils and ingredients between them which allowed for some conversation, sharing and taking turns.  They all enjoyed measuring, mixing, stirring and getting their hands messy.


(Picture courtesy of Beyond Baked Beans)

They even enjoyed washing and drying the bowls and utensils once their cookies were in the oven (they cooked one each at the class then got to take the rest of their dough away to bake at home).

Once the tidying was complete, it was time for a well-earned glass of squash and a cookie!

‘Yummy Delicious’ as Ella would say xx


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