Skin Cancer Awareness Skin Protection

Do Sun Blocking Shirts Really Work?

SpoilerAlert Sun Blocking shirts work!

Have you wondered Do Sun Blocking Shirts Really Work? Are you stuck in the outdated belief that you didn’t have one when you were a kid, why do you need one now? Why do your kids need them?

Shirts to protect from the sun

Yes, they do work. Awareness is the first step in knowing how to protect yourself and your family. You are now aware.  Sun blocking shirts really work.

Think back to the basics of protecting your skin from the sun.  Now think about the aging and damage to your skin that the sun can, and will do. You won’t wear a shirt to prevent sun damage?

Please, don’t tell me it is a real question.

I really don’t think you got up this morning and thought to yourself, “Gee, today would be a good day to take my family out and see if we can all get a serious sunburn.” 

No there really is not a good day for that.  One careless season in the sun can age your skin with damage that will age you ten years.  So if this is the first year your son is playing tee-ball and you are not prepared with a good sun blocking toolbox for you and your family, you may find out for yourself.

It is a fact that when your youngster is finally old enough to play some organized sports they are still very young and their skin is still not completely matured. Even though they are 6 or so years old, there are still some years before their skin is fully mature.  They need your help. 

young boy paddling with a dark loosedly fitting shirt to protect his skin from the sun

Kids And Skin Maturity

As parents, we tend to revert back to how our parents handled our sun exposure.   However, you have a great deal of information that your parents did not have to help guide your sun time for your family.

There is just too much information for us to ignore.  Too much sun is not good for your kid’s skin!  They should not be out in the direct sun until they are 6 months old. Not even for 5 minutes. 

I surely didn’t know that when my kids were babies.  They were unfortunately exposed from the time they were infants to the sun. 

Even though the sun made our son develop a rash in his early exposures, we still didn’t realize the dangers.  My baby’s doctor did not warn me of the sun’s danger to his skin.  

There was no advice about how to avoid sun dangers. So we plowed right into the life of fun in the sun.  

When you have lived your life in the sunny parts of the world, you become comfortable with the continual presence of the sunshine.  It is always there, always hot.  We learn early to walk on the shady spots on the ground or sidewalk.  So did our kids.  

Tan Lines

We didn’t realize the damage the sun was doing to our skin.  We thought the tan looked good!

One summer we took off more weekends of vacation time and fewer full week trips. We went to the lakes we had access to and spent our time that summer season waterskiing, and in the RV around the lake.  We were all outdoors more that summer.  

When it was time for school to start, I could not believe how healthy and brown our kids looked.  You see, I had fallen for the “healthy tan” look, hook line, and sinker! 

Then to add to the danger of too much sun, our son was a green eyed blonde, and our daughter a strawberry blonde with blue eyes. Both had very fair skin.

Coppertone Tans

Coppertone tans ads were busy selling us on how great a tan looked.  We were right there soaking up every word.  A few years down the timeline, we now have a family who can almost single-handedly support a dermatology practice!

Even the baby who had dark brown eyes and blonde hair with olive skin has skin cancers.

My grown kids all have had skin cancers removed.  The checkups are an important part of their life.  Including the healing period every 4 to 6 months from damaged skin removal.

This was not something that I was planning for their adult years.  I am sorry to say I just didn’t know.  Are you doing what you need to do?   Do you have a better plan for your kids?  For yourself?

Do sun blocking shirts really work?

Do You Have A Plan?

One way to get your skin protection started for your family is with a plan. Stop a minute and think about how your family normally plays out in the sun.  How would it be safer for them to play?

We have considered a sun blocking shirt to protect the trunk of our body from the dangers of the sun. 

So, yes having a shirt is a great start. Shirts are especially important when your kids are young.  When their skin is still maturing. 

A bad sunburn before your child is 12 can surely set off a lifetime of skin cancers in the future. When the skin becomes damaged early in life, the repeated exposures add up quicker.   

Can you help your child have the time for their skin to mature, avoid sunburn?  A sunburn when they are young, helps your kid become a statistic. 

This is a dangerous event, a sunburn, and is a strong future prediction for problems. Teaching your child to protect their skin when they are young will lead to a healthier adult time.

This is something that I allowed to happen because I didn’t know any better. 

In a conversation and several emails later, a new friend who was raised in Australia gave me some pointers. I needed some suggestions for some safer ways for our family to keep their skin healthy.

Help From A Fair Skinned Friend

I noticed that she had really fair skin, a sun hat, and a long-sleeved shirt as well as sunglasses.  Her little blonde boy was also clad in a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and sunglasses. 

Now, this little guy was only a toddler, so his Mom was keeping pretty close tabs on him.

She spread a blanket on the grass under some trees, away from the climbing towers, merry-go-rounds, and swings that I would have thought would entertain her son.

After getting her camp set up, she and her son walked over to where the play area was, in the middle of a roped-off area.  

There were some bright-colored tarps making shady places over some of the activities.  She encouraged more play on the items that offered shade.  While not encouraging as much time on the playscapes out in the direct sun. 

She gently suggested playing in the shade areas. But with the hat, shirt, and sunglasses all in place allowed time in the direct sun if he wanted.  

After just a few minutes, they were ready for the real shade area where the blanket was.  There she offered him a snack, and a cool drink. 

She sat on the blanket with him and they read a story.  He practiced standing on his head.  Then tossing the ball.  He had a small coffee can that he enjoyed trying to throw a couple of sponge balls into from different areas.  

Being a typical kid he was jumping over the coffee can from a standing jump and then the running jump.  

After about 20 minutes they were back where it was hot and the sun was shining.  A quick round or two on the exercise offerings there, and he was back to the cooler shade area.  


Soon a couple of hours had passed. The youngster had enjoyed the things the park had for him to play on.  He had some running from tree to tree in the shaded area of the park.

There had been some work on his gymnastic skills, his jumping and throwing, and catching hand-eye coordination. 

They had a couple of storybooks, with a discussion of how the kids in one story could hop so far on one foot.  His mom promised she would help the hopping on one foot at home with the airconditioner. He could start practicing doing that.

A Plan For Safe Fun In The Sun

A Plan for having fun is as important as a plan for chores or all the other parts of life.  A plan to stay safe and be able to enjoy the sunny day in the park made a fun morning for everyone.  

The son had fun things to do.  His mom had planned and was ready.  This morning in the park with my new neighbor’s family made me aware.  You can enjoy being out and still stay safe. 

How can it be that simple and I didn’t do it? Would a plan keep your family safer in the sun?

The basics of the sun-safe playing were there for the protection and enjoyment of all. 

The first part of her plan involved going to the park earlier in the morning.  Getting there before the more dangerous hours of 10 AM to 4 PM.  By the time he had played a while in the earlier morning sun, he was ready for some time in the shade.  

There were active toys and sit still books as well.  He ran and played in the shade and was ready for a quick go on the fun things that were out in the sun. 

As he had his sun-brimmed hat and shirt and sunglasses, he could safely do this for a few minutes before heading home.  

By having a plan, this Mom was helping her son have some healthy fun in the sun while being protected.  He wore his hat, shirt, and sunglasses with no complaint.  This was the way they played outside.  He has a better chance of avoiding sun damage to his skin before he is a teenager. 

What Is Your Skin Protection Plan?

We can do better.  I can, and you can too.  Having a plan to keep your family safe in the sun really can make your family safer in the sun.  Your awareness will make your kids aware that it is important to protect their skin from the sun. 

Your family can soon be the family who wears their sun blocking shirts.  It does make a difference.  It is important in your family’s sun safety plan.  

Your wide-brimmed sun hat and sunglasses help round out the protection with your long-sleeved shirt.  Protect your Family.  Keep a fun day at a theme park the memory you all treasure, not the disaster where everyone sunburned.

Awareness is important.  Make your sun safety plan for your family.

Learn How To Protect Your Skin
Sami’s Take on Do Sun Blocking Shirts really work

Having a plan that includes a sun blocking shirt with a hat and sunglasses will help your kids to a safer time in the sun. We love being out in the sun to play. Having some sort of plan makes the outside time safer and easier for everyone.

Know that fun in the sun can happen in the shade at times. Breaks for your family can keep skin safe and still be fun.

Rethink your time for fun. Kids usually enjoy a planned playtime as long as there is some free time for them as well. Keeping them safe from too much sun is worth the effort.

How can you have safer times in the sun?

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