Family Skin Safety Awareness Sun Blocking Clothing

What Is A Sun Blocking Shirt?

one good example of kids dressed to protect from the sun in long sleeves for outdoor play

Question:  What is a sun-blocking shirt? 

Answer:  Any shirt that blocks the sun from your skin is a sun blocking shirt.  Needless to say, not all shirts give you the best sun blocking protection.

However in the question of what you have versus no shirt if you are to be out in the sun? Always go with what you have.  Just because the weather is cooler does not mean you can forget to protect your skin from the sun.

I would like to acquaint you with what to look for when you are ready to be responsible for your skin and its health. 

Are you ready to prevent skin cancer and the scarring and pain this kind of cancer can cause?  As skin cancer is preventable, you should educate yourself about this cancer and what you can do for yourself.

We can’t undo the damage already done to your skin.  You can protect your skin and try to prevent more problems.

Why Do I Need A Shirt?

Remember, anything between your skin and the sun is blocking the sun a bit.  This was all we had to go with for a long time. 

Now we have shirts that are made especially for blocking the sun.  They are made of fabric that is so tightly woven that the sun can’t get through.  They will block out all but about 2% of the sun’s rays.  

Will your skin get damaged with 2% of the rays shining on you?  Yes, eventually.  You will need sunscreen as well as common sense on the length of time in the sun.  

Sun exposure adds up.  This is the key to the whole problem.  One time of being out and your skin turning a little pink would not be good for your skin.  However, one outing probably wouldn’t cause skin cancer. 

Just consider that you probably started getting overexposed when you became old enough to play outside by yourself.  

If you had a Mom like me who didn’t realize the danger of even a little overexposure, you may not have even been that old. The damage adds up, and if you have ever had a tan, you have been overexposed. 

Just a little color is all it takes to weaken your skin’s ability to reproduce healthy cells.

When your skin tans, it forces darker pigment to the top of the skin. This is done to protect itself from the sun.  Will the darker pigment fade away evenly?  Will it leave spots?  What do you think freckles are? 

Those places where the color of your skin is uneven on your arms and legs as well as your face? Those are where you get enough sun to move the skin into exposure mode, and call for protection mode.

Your First Tan

How many of you remember your first tan?  I don’t.  I do remember when I didn’t tan!  That was only one year!   

Do you have “farmers tan” on your arms and throat?  You have been overexposed if your skin changes color!  So now that you know where you stand with early exposure, let’s think about how we can protect ourselves from problems.

Sun Blocking Shirts

There are many choices out there for you.  There are many stores that sell sun blocking clothing.  It is up to you, the buyer to know what you are shopping for. 

I can’t tell you what is more important to you. 

Is it protection or how you look right now? 

Is healthy skin important to your plan for your future?

With my family, I have found that one of the reasons they don’t want to wear the long-sleeved denim shirt is because it looks dorky, especially when it is hot.  This kind of shirt is also very hot to wear when you are active in the hot sun.  

The best sun blocking shirt for you and your family members is a shirt they will wear. 

Realizing at the end of a fun time in the sun that your 12-year-old didn’t wear his long-sleeved denim shirt is too late.  You need to know before he turns red. Before his sunburn starts.

So while the shirt he has may do the job, they are so miserable to wear that he doesn’t wear it. 

Besides his friends will tease him about the cold-weather shirt he has on.  That will also make him shed that shirt in a hurry.

Helping Your Family

To protect your family, you may need to buy some shirts that have a few of the new features that are cool and make your son want to wear them.

At this point, he may not understand the need for skin protection.  So many of his buddies will not be wearing shirts at all. 

We are all going through this time of learning to protect ourselves from sun damage. 

Our skin no longer has the blessing of a thick Ozone layer.  That layer that protected us as children no longer is available to help our families. 

We are going to have to take responsibility for the protection and health of our own skin.  Until your youngster is old enough to think for himself, you have to help him.

What is a sun blocking shirt?

Who Needs a Blocking Shirt?

We already know that you need a sun blocking shirt, but who else does?

People who are taking medications:  Acne skin treatments can make the skin extra sensitive to the sun. Antihistamines and Antibiotics can affect the way your skin responds to the sun. 

Then there are some Anti-inflammatories.  Some of your herbal supplements have the same effect.  Make yourself aware of the side effects of the things you take.  This can easily explain why your skin is more sensitive to the sun at some times than others.

Children;  The younger the child the more at risk they are for sunburn and skin damage from the sun.  They have thinner skin.  Their skin just has not had time to gain its full share of thickness.  This happens with time. 

Early exposure is very damaging to your skin. While the skin is still maturing and getting thicker damage will happen sooner.  With earlier damage, you are setting the stage for severe skin issues later in life.  

Teach the younger ones the necessity of covering up and protecting their skin with sunscreen and sun blocking clothing.  They both help your children to keep their skin healthier. 

Sunscreens are important in your family’s protection plan.  However, sunscreen protection is dependent on how often it is applied.  And how well you cover exposed skin.

With sun blocking clothing, the protection is there as long as it is on your body. 

Please teach your family the importance of both of these sun blocking products.  For kids, shirts are so important.  Easy to wear, and leave on all day. Hats, Shirts, Sunglasses, and sunscreen are the basics.

Where Do You Live?

If you live in areas of the world where there is lots of snow or water you know that you burn quicker.  The sun reflects on both of these surfaces and the damage will be done so quickly.  You need sun blocking shirts.

Do you live near the equator part of the world?  The sun is closer to you and you will need protection so much sooner.  Hats and sunglasses to go along with your sun blocking shirts. Your sunscreen is also important.

If you are sun-sensitive. Does your skin quickly react to sun exposure?  Are you light or fair-skinned? Blue or green or grey eye color?  You too will probably react quickly.   Then add the light hair color.  You know that you must be careful with sun exposure.  

Darker skin tones:      Yes, darker skin tones can also get sun damage.  With darker skin tones, it can be more challenging to realize when you are getting too much sun. Sunburn

This usually results in getting serious sunburn before realizing what has happened.  You can have skin cancer too, and with darker skin tones noticing the smaller signs may be harder. 

Be aware of time in the sun.  

Fabric For Sun Blocking Shirts
  • When shopping for sun blocking clothing, look for a higher number for the rating of sun protection. You will see this clearly stated on the labels.
  • Also important are the words “broad spectrum.” Just like sunscreen, your fabric needs the extra treatment to stop it all.
  • Rating of 40 to 50+    excellent.  Less than 2.5% UV will pass through
  • Rating of 25 to 35      is very good  Less than 4.1 UV will pass through the fabric.
  • Rating of 15 to 20      is good         6.7 UV will be able to pass through the fabric.  
  • Anything less than 15 is not UB protective.  A plain white cotton Tee Shirt offers about a UP of 5.  Yes better than nothing, but definitely not a lot of protection.
  • 50 is the highest rating that we have at this time.  If there is a plus after the 50, extra coatings or layers were added to try for more coverage.
  • When labeled at 50, there should be no more than 2% of the UV rays getting through.  

Features Of Shirts For Sun Blocking

Sun Blocking Shirtmakers have found some ways to produce a comfortable shirt with some ventilation and a few additional ideas that are very helpful.

Let’s start with collars.  Many of the shirts for sun blocking have an extra collar to flip up and protect your neck from the sun while attending a ball game or a game practice. 

Are You Aware Yet?

Actually, practice time happens more often, and we need to be prepared when we are waiting for our kids.  Even if you are waiting in the car, in our part of the world you are subject to too much sun.

I have found the extra collars in the knit shirts as well as the woven fabrics.  

Hands that are getting too much sun - information in this article can help you protect your hands.

Look for extended cuffs in your shirts.  Cuffs that come down over the tops of your hand.  Knits also have cuffs with finger holes that work like fingerless gloves to protect the tops of your hands. 

One look at my hands and you know why you want this feature.  Top of the hand protection shirts for women are a new feature, and I have found more of them

Other features in shirts include vents.  The shirt can be made with a vent in the back, or front, or under the arms.  A shirt with vents for airflow in hotter weather

If shopping in person, look for the labels and the numbers that rate the protection.  If online shopping, choose a site that you feel you can trust.  Order 1 item, make sure of the return policy, and try the item out.  When you live away from shopping as we do, this will be the method I use.  

Just as purchasing any other item online, ease into the whole thing to start building your wardrobe.

What is a sun blocking shirt?  Knowing some of the new features is important.

Sami’s take on What is a Sun Blocking Shirt

Change one thing at a time when protecting yourself and your family from the sun’s damaging rays.  Make sure your new habit becomes a lifestyle, not a one-day event. 

Awareness is what we need to help us do a better job of protecting our family. You are now more aware.  Yes, you can have fun in the sun.  

My years of dealing with sun-damaged skin lets me know that this is a serious issue, and worth paying attention to.

I am tending a spot on my hand now where I burned my skin touching a hot pan. The top of my hand is so tender, and bruises so easy. The burn area is slow to heal because of the damaged skin cells from too much sun.

Even rising dishes for the dishwasher results in making the skin pull apart in the burn area. This was something I had no clue about. My Mom didn’t teach me because she didn’t know.

Will you teach your family to protect themselves. You do know.



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