Today was a big day for our family. It was the first day back at kindy (NZ school and kindy summer holidays are approximately 5-6 weeks long starting just before Christmas) for Blake and Dani’s first day at kindy ever. They were both so excited that they were ready to go a full hour before we had to leave.
Blake also had his Before School Check (an assessment designed to predict a child’s readiness for school by the age of 5 and pick up any possible issues that may occur as they get older) and 4 year old immunisations scheduled for this morning before kindy. We turned up for our appointment. The lady who comes in to do these checks and immunisations, didn’t. After waiting for 20 minutes we arranged for the receptionist to try and get us in next month if at all possible.
This meant that the rest of the day was just Celine, Bella and I which gave me a chance to have some desperately needed one on one time with Celine that is virtually impossible to have when the middletons (Blake and Dani) are around. Since the middletons have gone back to kindy a week and a bit before Celine has to go back to school in February which gives us a fair bit of a chance to more one on one time.
We spent today running a couple of errands in the big city and having a naughty lunch at Burger King. We even spent some time at a couple of parks so that Celine could get a little play in while we were waiting for one appointment or other.
We weren’t expecting to go to the park at all today so Celine didn’t have her sun hat or sunscreen that kiwi children need in the summer sun in New Zealand and there is no shade to cover the playgrounds at either park not even over the seating areas so we all got a little burnt while we were there. By the time we hit the second park, the playground equipment was way to hot to play on much. Celine pretty much stuck to the swings at that one. I pretty much burnt my bottom (even through my dress) feeding Bella at both parks because the seating was so hot.
The Ozone Layer is extremely thin above New Zealand which means the heat from the sun can get really, REALLY hot. It is easy to burn in less than 10 minutes when you are outside. Even when you cover yourself with a hat and sunscreen and clothing from head to toe. Unfortunately most of New Zealand playgrounds are in the same state. No sun shade over either the playground or the seating area and not enough shady trees if there are any at all to do the job either.
This needs to change. New Zealand Government and City Councils need to get sun smart about these playgrounds for our children.
Both New Zealand and Australia have the highest rate of Melanoma (skin cancer) in the world. However Australia has gotten smart and started covering their playgrounds with shade from the sun to protect their playing children. New Zealand, on the other hand, appears to be dragging their heels. Even our school playgrounds lack this important shade from the sun.
Maria from Happy Mum Happy Child wrote a post about this very issue recently and has taken the step to start a petition to get the Auckland Council to start putting shade over the playgrounds in Auckland (the biggest and most populated city in New Zealand) . If she can get this petition to go through and Auckland does start to do this then it opens up the doors for other city councils to do the same including the Hawke’s Bay one where I live.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t live in Auckland itself. I don’t. We need this door to open. We need this petition to go through and help New Zealand change. We need our government to get sun smart and protect our children’s play area. If you live in New Zealand and you are reading this post then this is how you can help. Go to Change.org and sign the petition.
Help New Zealand make a change for the better.