Are UPF Shirts Worth The Cost?

Are UPF Shirts Worth The Cost?  Will they really protect my families skin better?  Are they worth the cost?  Thank you, Mom, of 4 oldest is 9, youngest is 2. 

The comment that the reader left made me think and review again the pros and cons of UPF shirts.  Will they really protect my skin better?   Are they worth the cost?  This is the part of UPF clothing that many ponder. 

To protect our skin from sun burn

There are actually several questions here.  In an effort to answer them lets start with what to me is obvious.  Yes, they are worth it, if you live a lifestyle that has your family in the sun several times a season. Sun Blocking Shirts

  • If it is only one time a year, one day a year or one weekend a year you can be fairly safe with a med to heavyweight long sleeve shirt in a deeper color. Royal blue, dark red, deep green, brown or black.  If your child is playing in the water like on the beach, they will need to have a loose fit to allow the air to circulate and help cool their bodies. 

The shirt has to be worn to protect their skin.  This is usually the sticking point for parents to decide to invest in at least one shirt per child. The specially designed shirts for UPF protection are comfortable for wearing all day and dry quickly even on the body.  

Back again the never-ending chant, some shirt is better than no shirt.  While getting to the point that all members of your family have sun blocking clothing help them to remember to keep the shirt on.

Theme Parks More Your Families Favorite

Here again, how often does your family visit a theme park? Once in a lifetime or monthly or more often?  Think about how you can take care of yourself when you go to the park.

Does the park offer many places to sit and cool down in the shade?  Or is it pretty much a nonstop action kind of place?  Remember that your family may need a break time.  Some downtime for a meal with a cool drink.  Having a place in the shade to take off their shirts for a short while, wind down and relax. Young kids do well with water running over their feet. 

Actually, so do grandmothers! Thinking about theme parks reminds me of when my grandmother accompanied my family to 6 Flags in Dallas.  I am not sure, but she was near 75.  She was seeking shade and a bench often.  I can’t remember as much as I wish I could about that day.  I do know how fortunate we were to be able to have her with us.

Unfortunately, we were not as careful as we should have been, and all of us got too much sun. No, I didn’t learn the importance of protecting our skin from the sun as soon as I should have.  Please learn from my errors, and take better care of your families skin in the sun.

To raise awareness of skin protection from the sun
Plan Ahead

Summer is right around the corner. It’s a good time to think about your skin sun safety routine.  Check your skincare toolbox and see what you have to work with.  What needs replacing.

Whatever your summer plans are; protection from the sun should always be the first thing you consider.  Actually, these same strategies apply all year round.  Track meets, field days, baseball games, football camp, tennis workshops come to mind for our group.  What will your family be doing?

Our family will be spending more time doing this kind of activity than we will be going on trips or to theme parks.  We need good everyday care for our families skin in the sun.  Maybe that UPF shirt would get a lot of wear after all.

With some idea of the consequences of excessive sun exposure, using protection from UV rays should be a no-brainer. Here are some tips and suggestions to keep in mind for sun safety:

Know your sunburn risk and how quickly you and your families skin will burn in the sun.

Protect yourself with clothing.  Keep the UPF clothing as well as the tightly woven and darker fabric shirts and coverups.

Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to protect your eyes.

Wide-brimmed hats are a great way to protect those sensitive areas on your head and neck.

 Spend some time in the shade

Plan to go prepared with umbrellas or pop up shades if there is limited shade available.  Know your families tolerance for the sun and heat and plan to make relief available.

Know your sunscreen needs

Find the right sunscreen that will protect you and your family. Broad spectrum, Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher sunscreens are the better options.

Find one that is water-resistant so that the time in the water won’t take it off right away. However, it is important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Sunscreens made from minerals like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or chemical sunscreens with avobenzone, oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate will provide safe protection for your family.

Both types have FDA approval, mineral sunscreens do not absorb into the skin and are safer for sea life.

Protect your kids 

If you start the habit of sun protection while your family is young, your children will incorporate it into their daily routine.  It will be just like brushing their teeth.

Infants under 6 months should stay in the shade rather than wearing sunscreen because of their thinner sensitive skin. All children are vulnerable to the risks of excessive sun exposure and need sun protection of some kind anytime they are outside.

This makes wearing UPF shirts an easy way to protect ourselves.  Again, remember, a shirt of any kind on the body is better than none.

The trunk of your child’s body allows a large area for skin problems from too much sun to happen.  Start covering up in the sun.  Add a hat and sunglasses. 

Give your family a good start to healthy skin through life.

Protect your skin
Sami’s Take On “Are UPF Shirts Worth The Cost

UPF shirts can be pricey. When you have several children, this is often one that needs to be planned for and budgeted in. Three shirts at $20 each is $60. So here are my suggestions.

Watch the Walmart links and they often have good buys for your kids shirts. Keep in mind the comfort thing. I would make sure that the shirt you are considering is loose enough to let a bit of air in.

The shirt should not be tight. Tightly stretched shirts let the sun reach the skin. If the shirt is a hand me down, look at the sun through a layer of the shirt. Can you see pinholes or weave holes where the strands are woven together? The sun can reach skin here as well.

You may need to have one each for your kids and rinse out each night for the next day. For shot times in the sun, 30 minutes or less, before or after peak sun hours of 10 AM to 4 PM, probably a shirt they already have will give the protection they need.

Building a sun safe wardrobe for your family may take a while. Be aware, and be safe in the sun.

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