Have you asked yoursef, ” Is UPF Clothing Comfortable For My Kids To Wear?” Or is this just another ruse to sell more clothing? Why can’t my child wear what he already has?
Is UPF Clothing Comfortable For My Kids To Wear? All new research results are indicating that kids need to cover their skin.
I know that I didn’t pay close enough attention to what my kids were wearing in the sun. I am still pleading ignorance! Don’t be like I was, I just didn’t know how dangerous it was to spend so much time in the sun.
But really now, will your kids be comfortable in black or dark colored clothing? My kids don’t even appreciate black clothes all the time now that they are adults. Black and navy blue are supposed to be safer sun blocking colors.
Those colors just doesn’t look like kids clothing. Where are the bright colors? The shorts and tanks tops? Yes that is what I think too, and that is a way of thinking that needs to be changed to a more sun safe way of thinking about kids clothes.
The sun needs only limited access to our skin. Especially those under 22 years old. I know, by age 22 kids have long since quit coming to parents for advice on what to wear, anywhere! However, this is the age that research is finding kids are when their skin is mature.
It is a tough world out thee and our skin has to protect us for a long time.
Should Kids Wear UPF Clothing?
Even when your kid is old enough for sunscreen, experts still recommend using sun-protective clothing because it can reduce the need to reapply so much sunscreen. And there is often a battle because some kids just don’t like the feel of a pasty white film on their skin.
Sunscreen is so important for kids to be able to stay safe in the sun, but so few use it correctly. UPF clothing can keep them safe from the sun, and make sunscreen application something they can safely handle.
If your kid wears UPF clothing, applying sunscreen to his face, neck and ears and his hands will be easier to do. You know as well as I do that less is always better with kids.
So I wondered about keeping comfortable in the darker clothing. Is it really warmer, or does it just look that way?
It really is warmer! Darker colors, black, navy blue, darker and deeper colors absorb heat. If the garment is close fitting, it will be warmer for your kids. Kids shuck clothes that are hot. It is simple for the younger ones to take off the hot shirt, or pants. They are less inhibited.
So, the fit make a difference, as well as the color. If the darker color shirt or pants are looser fitting they will allow air to circulate and be carried away from their body. If the fit is closer, they will not be as comfortable.
Will Sun Block Shirts Protect Better Than A Regular Shirt?
Do sun block shirts really protect better than a regular shirt? Are your kids growing? Buying new UPF Clothing every year is expensive if you can’t have hand-me-down.
So what is the benefit of the UPF shirts?
UV light can penetrate through the micro holes in the weaves of regular clothes. These holes are so small you won’t be able to see them unless you hold the shirt up to the sun or another light source. If the fabric is tightly woven, you may be able to safely wear that one in the sun, and have some protection.
If the fabric is tightly woven and not worn out, your kids will still get good protection from the sun while wearing them. Denim is a good fabric, and so are some twill shirts. However, if these shirts are badly faded or very worn, they won’t offer much protection. And they may be warmer in hot weather.
In light colored shirt, the sun can go right through to your kids skin. Then your kid can get a sunburn that shows the seam lines of the garment. I have had that kind ot sunburn, have you?
With UPF clothing, the there is a special weave or treatment on the fabric of the shirt that will block the sun better. This is giving you more protection from the sun.
Shirts from your closet can also block the sun pretty well. Do you know which ones they are?
What is the best kind of shirt to wear to protect you from the sun?
The Best Kind Of Shirt From Your Kids Closet
For the very best protection from the sun’s dangerous rays your kids should wear tightly woven, dark-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, as well as wide-brimmed hats. Don’t forget the sunglasses.
Some kinds of fibers natutually provide more protection than others do. Unbleached cotton absorbs UV rays from the sun. Polyester and silk with a high sheen reflect UV radiation.
Darker colors absorb more light.
Lighter colors reflect light.
Tee Shirts In Your Kids Closet Already
With clothing from your kids closet, thicker tee-shirts in darker colors are best. Collar shirts are better than crew neck. There is more to protect them if the shit has a collar. Their tee shirts that are old favorites are usually not too good to consider for blocking the sun.
However there is a DIY hack that can help keep your kids safe in the sun, even in hand-me-downs.
Sun Safe Color Gaurd is a fabric treatment that will refresh old clothing, and make it newer again. The product bonds to the thread of the shirt. This makes the shirt thicker, and fills the weave holes that allow pin pricks of sun through.
Just follow directions on the box. There are several online source, Walmart had some last year when I ordered from them. I let our shirts soak a while, about 2 hours before finishing the cycle. It did make them nice and newer looking again. I could no longer see the sun through the pinpricks. They were thicker feeling as well.
This treatment is supposed to last at least 20 washes. That would probably be good a summertime thing if your family has hand-me-downs.
Is Clothing Or Sunscreen Better?
Have you wondered about this clothing being better than sunscreen?
“Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection, even more than sunscreen,” said Zeichner, who is also director of cosmetic and clinical dermatology research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “Clothing is a physical blocker of the rays and sunscreen is applied to bare skin.”
Then you have to keep reapplying sunscreen, all day! Will your kids remember to take time out for reapplying sunscreen? That is hard enough for adults, much less kids.
They will probably wear the garment, unless it is really uncomfortable. Is it a loose fit, but not too loose so it is hard to keep on their body?
The best solution for skin protection from the sun is to use sunscreen to cover what clothes don’t. Use both to get the best possible results.
Wear the long sleeve loose-fitting tightly woven shirt with a collar. Wear long pants that fit loosely to allow air to move some around your body. Put on a hat with at least a 3 inch brim and sunglasses. Apply sunscreen to what isn’t covered.
Yes, you need to approach protecting your skin from another angle. With some better lifestyle habits.
How Long Will Shirts Keep Their UPF Rating
Do sun shirts lose their effectiveness? Even the ones with a UPF rating and labels and tags? They wear out?
Only clothes with a UPF of 15-50+ may be labeled as sun-protective. Most companies say that their products will last about 2 years, or about 30 wash cycles.
Note that, like regular clothing, sun-protective clothing can lose its effectiveness over time. The fabric that the clothing is made of will wear, have weak spots and other signs of wear. The worn places may be only in spots, like the knees or elbows of garments.
Other ways that UPF clothing loses its sun protection may include stretching or pulling it too tightly. Or enough stretch that the fabric will not retain it’s spring. Make sure the garment fits properly.
Knit shirts may be out-grown and the stretch in the fabric will allow the sun in to your kids skin.
Some of manufacturers have new fabrics that they guarantee. They say the UPF will last for as long as you have a scrap of fabric. This is an improvement in the length of time the UPF is retained. However, if the garment becomes worn or too small, it will allow sun through the pin-prick weave holes in the fabric.
More Protection From The Sun, Black Or White? Which Is Better?
Do your get better protection from the sun by wearing black or white?
We know that darker colors absorb more UV from the sun rays than lighter colors like whites and pastels.
This means the UV rays are less likely to reach your skin. But bright colors such as red, orange, green, and purple can also absorb UV rays.
Pale pink, yellow, babu blue will reflect. The problem with reflecting colors, is that you will probably get the reflection rays on your face. This is where we show aging and skin getting older even when we don’t want to.
Sun Hat makers have become awear, and started making hats with dark colors on the underside of the brim. The top is light and reflects the light, the under brim is darler and absorbs the rays.
The same is true for umbrellas. Dark umbrellas block the most sun. Hot in the warmer time of the year. An umbrella that is light on the outside, and dark on the underside causes less reflective ray damage.
Will My Kids Get A Sunburn Through Clothes?
Can you get sunburned through clothes? Yes, if the fabric is not a special weave, or does not have other treatments to keep the sun blocked out.
So, with the short answer being yes, what is so scary about sunburning through clothing is that people don’t realize that they are routinely exposed to the sun through their regular clothing.
They have no idea the damage they are getting on their own skin, nor the damage their kids are getting when they are out.
Even if they don’t get sunburn, they get enough to tan. Anytime you get enough sun to cause your skin to make more melanin, the tan you see, you are pushing the skin cancer button. When your skin tans here is what happens:
The Melanin Factory
You or your kids are outside. Longer than you inteneded, but everyone is having fun. Your skin has enough sun that it pushes the button. HELP, I AM GETTING TOO HOT, SEND THE TAN TO COVER MY SKIN SO I WON’T GET TOO HOT. HURRY, HELP, MAKE MELANIN NOW.
Your melanin making system is making as much melanin as it can, as fast as it can. If it isn’t enough to do what your body needs done, it won’t be able to protect your skin, and you will get a sunburn. After a few times of using the panic button to produce more melanin, your body will be out of what it needs to protect your skin.
You skin will burn again, and you have to hope that the skin cells on top don’t get burned too bad to heal and stay healthy. Your melanin making system still doesn’t know hours later that the crises is over, it’s often stuck on go. The extra heat of your burned skin is crying for relief.
Your melanin makers are overworked and part of them quit, making you short on enough melanin. Your body can no longer safely turn this off.
Remember how you wake up tanner the next morning after a sunburn? Your melanin maker kept working, even after the crisis was over. Will it produce enough next time? After the stress of a crisis, we often loose a bit of production capability.
This is when we realize, we have to cover up. Our body can’t make melanin fast enough when you continue to get too much sun. When you get multiple sunburns.
How Do I Protect My Kids From Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?
Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
This exposure usually comes from the sun. Some can come from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning beds and sun lamps.
The more exposure to UV rays, the greater the risk for skin cancer.
The main types of UV rays that can affect your skin include:
UVA rays and UVB rays.
UVA rays take longer to burn, but cause skin to age early when you are exposed too much. This damage can’t be repaired at this time. You will find yourself spending lots of money to try to make your skin look young as it once did. Good skin care can help, if it includes sun protection. Remember UVA-early aging of your skin
UVB rays have more energy and are a more potent cause of at least some skin cancers. UVB causes sunburn and extensive skin damage. UVA- Sunburn damage.
Both UVA and UVB rays can damage skin and cause skin cancer. There are no safe UV rays.
Teaching your kids to be aware of the sun, and the danger of too much sun on their skin will be a start to healthier adulthood.
Good safe skin habits are important as well as being aware of the dangerous times of the day for too much sun exposure.
Why Is Some UV Exposure More Dangerous?
The strength of the sun’s UV rays reaching the ground can change as the are influenced by a number of factors, such as:
- Time of day: UV rays are strongest in the middle of the day, between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Season of the year: UV rays are stronger during the spring and summer months. Near the equator, this makes little difference. In my part of Central Texas, it makes a lot of difference.
- Distance from the equator (latitude): UV exposure goes down as you get further from the equator.
- Altitude: More UV rays reach the ground at higher elevations.
- Cloud cover: The effect of clouds can vary, but it’s important to know that UV rays can get through to the ground, even on a cloudy day. Protect your skin.
- Reflection off surfaces: UV rays can bounce off surfaces like water, sand, snow, or pavement, leading to an increase in UV exposure.
The UV Index
This visual map by US National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows the maps that they have developed of the UV Index.
A review will give you an idea of how strong the UV light is in your area on any given day, on a scale from 1 to 11+. A higher number means a greater risk of exposure to UV rays with a higher chance of sunburn.
This sunburn and skin damage that could ultimately lead to skin cancer.
The UV Index is part of many weather forecasts throughout the country. Further information about the UV Index, as well as your local UV Index forecast, can be found on the EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-1.
Check out this information to help you understand the UV index in your area.
Sami’s Take on Is UPF Clothing Comfortable For My Kids
With all the reasons our kids need to wear UPF clothing, it is safe to say it is an important of their skin protection. The comfort factor is important to get their cooperation. By keeping their clothing soft to the skin, and easy to find in the closet, it may be easier to keep them wearing the items you know protect their skin better.
Hoodies are an easy to wear piece of clothing that will give head cover without a sun hat. Your kids need to realise that they are also responsible for some of their sun safety. Wearing your own sun safety clothing, adding sunscreen, and sunglasses will get them off to a good start.
Changing your summer habits to be able to stay in the shade during the dangerous hours of the day when the sun is the strongest. Have play times early and later. Eveything doesn’t have to take place right after lunch like we get in the habit of doing.
Planning your day to have inside rest, cool down time is very important for skin health. Playing in the shade with plenty of liquids can give your kids a fun summer with safety built in.
Prepare for outings with portable shades, even if it is just umbrellas can allow a rest time in the shade, out of the direct sun.
You now know more about which of the shirts in the closet is the better one for sun blocking. Help them reach for the ones that offer more protection from the sun for their skin.
You don’t have to have UPF rated clothing. You can find garments in their closet that will offer more protection for their skin. This is a good time to find the laundry product, SunGuard to use on their clothing. Give them a bit of help along the way.
Remind them that sunscreen and sun blocking clothing is the safer way to go.