Parenting: Easy home remedies to take the sting out of summer

But you don't need a home-pharmacy to be fully prepared. There are a lot of easy home remedies you can use.

Bee stings

I remember my mother putting a meat tenderizer paste on my bee stings when I was little. Turns out, my mom was right. Once you remove the stinger, by scraping so you don't squeeze more venom in, combine equal parts vinegar, baking soda and meat tenderizer to make paste and apply to the sting. Vinegar neutralizes the venom and evaporates quickly for a cooling effect. Baking soda is also a soothing agent. The meat tenderizer contains papain, an enzyme found in papayas, that lessens the effect of the venom. Even easier: toothpaste. Many types of toothpaste contain glycerin, which dries out the venom. Toothpaste is an alkaline substance, which neutralizes acidic venom. And then apply ice to reduce swelling.

Cuts and scrapes

I always use an antibacterial cream and band aids - Hello Kitty for Emma and Spiderman for Luke. But, if you don't have antibiotic cream handy, turn to honey. Dab on a little honey and then cover with a bandage. Honey has antibacterial properties, and studies have shown that it can speed wound healing. And if you don't have a band aid, don't worry - honey dries to form a natural one.

Sunburn

For immediate relief, soak the sunburned areas in cold water or with cold compresses for 15 minutes. The cold reduces swelling and wicks away heat from your skin. If you're burned all over, take a soak in a cool bath to which you've added oatmeal. Just grind up a cup of oatmeal in a food processor and add it to your bath. For extra-painful spots of sunburn, rub the area gently with sliced cucumber or potato. They contain compounds that cool the burn and help reduce swelling. Vinegar contains acetic acid - one of the components of aspirin. It can help ease sunburn pain, itching, and inflammation. Soak a few sheets of paper towels in white vinegar, and apply them to the burned areas, or add some to your cold bathwater.

Of course, prevention is the best cure. So don't forget to lather your little ones in sunscreen and reapply often since the sun has been very strong this summer.

Happy parenting!

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