Why Should Kids Wear UPF Clothing? Does it really matter? Won’t a shirt from their closet work?
Should Kids Wear UPF Clothing? Yes, kids can benefit from UPF clothing. Often there is clothing in the closet that works well if you know what to look for.
A loose-fitting long sleeve shirt of a tightly woven fabric in a deeper color. This is what you want for maximum protection for your childs’ skin to protect them from the sun.
Shirts are important because they will cover the trunk of your childs’ body.
The advantage that a UPF shirt may have over one from your closet is comfort. Often a regular shirt may have the features you need, but be hot to wear.
As wearing the shirt is important for protection, this may make you search for one of the specially designed skin protecting shirts. These also have some special features built in like vents under the arms and down the sides, both front and back of the shirts.
These shirts may be made of self wicking fabric that pulls the moisture away from the skin, and drying quickly.
Important For Your Childs’ Skin Safety
For the basics of sun blocking clothing for your kids is important because your kids are still maturing out their skin. Until your child is near 20, he/she are still getting their adult skin.
Sunburns on kids is very dangerous for just this reason. They are still growing their skin. The layers are maturing and becoming adult skin cells until about 20 years of age. These mature layers will be thicker. More protective. Being protected from the sun is important to be able to live their adult lives with healthy skin.
If your child takes medication for allergies, they probably have skin that is more sensitive to the sun. Often the medication will remain in your system for a while after your last dose.
For controlling allergies, this is desireable. To be out in the sun, this could cause problems. So can some other over the counter medications cause sensitivity in and on your skin.
Teaching your youngsters to protect their skin at a very young age is how you can allow their skin to mature and be healthy. Learning to wear long sleeves when you are out in the sun is important, and a mind change for how most of us think about dressing for being in the sun.
Suggestions For A Basic Sun Blocking Wardrobe For Your Kids For Everyday
Sun Blocking Hat
A sun blocking hat is the start of your childs’ wardrobe to block the sun. They need a hat with a 3 inch brim and made of a fabric the sun can’t shine through. It can be a tightly woven fabric or straw, as long as the sun does not get through.
A bucket shaped hat, or any of the many styles with at least a 3 inch brim is important. Any hat will block some of the sun, even a baseball cap. It just isn’t enough to do what needs doing.
Any hat is better than no hat. But to get the protection that a properly shaped hat from a tightly woven material, even felt, will keep your childs’ skin safer.
A hat that is lighter in color on the outside and top to reflect the sun’s rays will be cooler to wear in the warmer times of the year. Another preference is to have the underside of the brim to be a darker color to absorb the rays, not reflect them to your face and cause early aging. Yes, this starts when we are kids!
UV Blocking Sunglasses
Sunglasses play a very important role in protecting your child from the sun. Oversized lens that fit close to the face will block more sun from the face.
Blocking the UV rays will give your kids a better eye health for the rest of their life. Sometimes this seems a bit much, as we often think of sunglasses as accessories, not tools. Sun glasses are an important part of your childs protection from the sun. A lifetime habit that will serve them well.
Most parents find that establishing some rules is important for sunglasses and their care. While your child will have occasions when they need their glasses at school, it probably won’t be everyday.
Keeping up with sunglasses can be a bit tricky. Helping your child learn to bring them to you when they remove them. While this may seem impossible, it will soon become a part of the routine. Your kids need to learn to carefully clean their sunglasses with a soft towel or cloth, as well as store them safely in a case.
Sound like too much trouble? It will be to start with. However, it will soon become much easier and automatic.
Sunblocking Shirts And Pants
Item number 3 in importance for protecting your childs’ skin from the sun is the actual UPF clothing.
These UPF shirts work only if they are on your childs’ body. They need to be comfortable, as well as protect their skin. Kids will remove the shirts if they get too hot. So shirts that fit loosely are a better fit. If they fit to closely, they will be hot to wear.
Long sleeve shirts that fit loosely made of fabric that blocks the sun will keep your kids protected. However if they are hot and don’t breathe and allow your child to cool down, there will be objections to wearing the UPF shirt.
A loose fitting knit shirt is great if your child wears a hat with a good wide brim. If they insist on a cap for their heads, they need shirts with a collar. Collars protect a good portion of their necks.
The neck, head and face, as well as the nose and ears are where most skin cancers start. A lot of men have them show up on their heads if they wear caps that allow the sun to get through. Theses guys probably went hatless as kids in the bright sun.
Tightly woven fabrics like denim and canvas cloth are usually good for pants for your kids. The way to protect their skin is to help them learn to cover up. They may want to tan, but tans are so bad for their skin, and will make them think they don’t have to protect their skin. This is risky behavior.
Sunscreen Of At Least SPF 30 With A Broad Spectrum
Now it is time to talk about sunscreen. Even with sun blocking clothing, it is important to use sunscreen.
When they have a sun hat, they should also apply a generous coating of sunscreen to your face, neck, ears, and nose. If they are out over 2 hours, you will need to help them reapply.
Remember the sunglasses. Now, your kids face and head should be safe.
They should wear their sun blocking clothing when out to play in the later morning or early afternoon. Make sure to apply sunscreen to what is not covered by clothing. If the sleeves are short, cover their arms. If in shorts, remember to apply sunscreen to legs.
Adapting a safer lifestyle for safer outside play time is a better idea.
This is the easy way to keep your kids safe from the sun. Stay out of the hot sun in the more dangerous hours.
We have many safe hours to be outside. From 4 PM to 10 AM the next day. Of course the later hours are not practical, but reasonable play time is available.
Have play outside time in early mornings, before the sun gets too hot. In my part of the world, here in central Texas we have lots of sun. By 10 A M it can easily be time to get in out of the sun for playtime. It is too hot for kids to be outside in the sun from 10 AM until 4 PM.
With less ozone now available to help screen out UV rays, there should be closer restrictions on outdoor play time. Kids need to stay in, or at least in shade and out of the hottest and most dangerous time of day sun rays.
Play out after 4 PM when the sun is less dangerous. Less dangerous doesn’t mean not dangerous. Sun blocking clothing will be very effective without having so much sunscreen applied. Sunscreen is greasy and uncomfortable. When outside, playing is safer for your kids skin after peak sun hours.
Set play dates for the kids to be in the safer hours for sun risk. Play times in shady yards or parks is better than bright sun. Making shade with different kinds of umbrellas, canopy or other sun blocking materials will keep the youngsters safer.
Yes they will be in and out of the shade, but breaking up the sun exposure will help. There are any number of things you can do to make playtime safer from the sun. Keep your kids’ safe from the sun.
Sami’s Take On Should Kids Wear UPF Clothing?
Using more common sense about how your kids are out in the sun will keep your family safer from the sun and skin cancers through their lives.
If your kids are old enough to want to join other kids riding bikes, skating, whatever kids like to do in your neighborhood, finding ways to stay within the safer hours to be out can be a bit much.
With older kids, try keeping a break area in your back yard, under a tree, in the shade or with a large umbrella anchored to create a shaded area.
Put a cooler of cold drinks out where the kids can circle by and have a break. Under a shade. A cooler with some ice and a jug of coolade worked when my kids were young. Encourage the kids to take breaks as they ride or take part in physical activities. They need time to cool down and drink fluids.
If there are some refreshments, it will encourage the breaks and make the down time fun. The younger kids will need to have their break times too. You as a parent have lots of ideas about what is an OK for providing a break that is approate for your kids.
Shade areas are important for safe time outdoors. Think about what you can do to keep the kids active, but observing safe fun time. Maybe you can take turns with your neighbor parents for refreshments, even cold water will be welcome when it is hot. You can do the cooler Mondays and Wednesdays. Your other neighbors have a day or so each.
Think about working with other parents as kids grow and want to roam more. Create awareness of sun safety for kids and their skin.
Should Kids Wear UPF Clothing?
Kids should wear something between them and the sun. Any clothing is better than no clothing.
UPF clothing will protect their skin and keep them safer from skin cancer.
I personally think that UPF clothing is good for your kids, everyday. However there is the reality of how expensive this will be. So, having a sun hat to wear when your are out in the hot sun times of the day is good. Wearing a darker looser fitting shirt will keep you safe.
On school outings, or vacations where your family are out on the river bank, at the beach, or ammusement parks and theme parks have a UPF shirt for them to wear. These kinds of day will make your child need extra protection.
Check the closets for the best choices for everyday wear. Consider using the addivitives that you launder in, like Sun Guard. Make yourself aware of how to help your family stay safe in the sun.