Will your kids need UPF Clothing this fall and winter? Do you live in a sunny part of the world? Are your fall and winter days filled with lots of sunshine?
Is your family staying safe in the sun? Will my kids need UPF clothing this fall and winter? Yes, Sun protection is always good, but can we just use the regular clothes they have to keep them safe?
Keeping skin safe from the sun using clothing is a new thing for us. We have all evolved into a society that shuns covering very much skin. How can you keep your kids safe in the sun? Many of their friends and peers have tans from the sun in the summer.
When Did We Find Out About Sun Dangers?
Masonic Cancer Center with the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs has this to say about when we first started to be aware of the ability to protect our skin from the sun:
The first sun protection factor appeared. This is what we nowadays refer to as SPF.
At that time the amount added to our suntan lotions was so low, like 2 to 4 SPF, and as we now understand, is better than nothing, but does little to protect us in the sun.
Also back in the 60s, the stuff they used to keep the lotion stable enough to use was usually thick and oily. They really did not give much protection because it was difficult to get the lotion to your skin and get it covered properly.
Remember, we were just learning to use “sun tan lotion” and we didn’t want to waste the product by putting on more than what was needed.
The research had just started gaining momentum, so we didn’t know much more than how cool it was to have a bottle of lotion that smelled like coconut and felt good when you rubbed it on. We thought we were helping ourselves tan faster, not protecting ourselves from too much sun.
Then in the 1970s and 1980s, tanning oils really got popular. We wanted to be tanner and faster! Sunburn was just a part of being tan for those who were seeking a tan in a day. We really didn’t know that it was setting us up for skin cancer.
When I had my first skin cancer removed, my family doctor didn’t even warn me about being cautious about too much sun. Skin protection was developing, and protecting yourself had not yet become a full-blown necessity.
When Did You Become Aware?
How old were you when you became aware of the need to protect your skin from the sun? Hopefully, it happened when you were young, and your parents were there to help you with good skin protection practices.
Will your kids need UPF clothing this fall and winter? If you live in the sunny part of the world as we do here in central Texas, the could need UPF clothing.
Do you know your kid’s risk factor for sunburn? One of the issues to consider besides the child’s risk factor is the length of time in the sun.
With the days being cooler, often there is more time spent outside.
Here in our part of the world, the days are so nice and mild, that people forget to watch out for the sun. People forget that just because it is not so hot, they won’t get sunburned. True, it may take a bit longer to sunburn, but it will happen if some caution isn’t used.
USP Or UPF
In the fall and winter, skin protection is important. In colder climates where you have to dress warmer, the layers of clothing can often be enough to keep you safe from too much sun. Just a little USP lotion on your child’s face may do the job. Repeated every couple of hours.
However, in our sunnier climates where we don’t get so cold, a layer of UPF clothing as well as some sunscreen on the kid’s faces should keep them safe. This is where we have been careless for too many years. These early-age exposures are what is adding up to more skin cancer for many.
That and the love we all have for adventures outdoors. Changing trends for outside activities in the cooler seasons of the year have us outdoors more hours than in the past.
For the milder climates, fall and winter activities wearing lightweight, or even midweight UPF clothing is a reasonable way to protect your skin.
Then needing sunscreen on your face is not such a challenge. Keeping your arms and leg covered with long sleeve shirts and long pants makes skin protection so much easier.
How Long Does UPF Last
I hear you asking, how long does the UPF protection last in clothing? This link will help you with this information.
Your kids will probably outgrow their clothing before the UPF wears out.
The UPF factor lasts a long time and will let your kids stay safe for so much longer. However, always, any shirt that will keep the sun off their body is better than none. Long sleeves can help.
UPF Clothing is usually guaranteed for 2 years. Some even longer. Read labels and tags when you purchase their clothes. Or-
If their clothes get washed several times a week, it may be time to become familiar with Sun Guard, a fabric treatment that takes any shirt and makes sun protection better. This product may seem pricey, but for around $5 a load, you can treat a washer load of shirts for your whole family.
That is definitely less expensive than new SPF shirts for everyone.
Why Is Sun Safety Important?
Do you know why UV rays are harmful? These high-energy UV rays are actually a form of radiation. And it is a form of ionizing radiation. Which means there is enough energy to remove an electron or ionize an atom or molecule.
Think radiation for cancer treatments. Of course, a controlled and adapted form, but still radiation. Too much of this ionizing radiation can cause damage the actual DNA structure in your skin cells. This can then lead to cancer.
The sun can be an unrelenting enemy, and that is why you should help your children learn to protect their skin. They can learn to wear long sleeves in the sun. As well as remember sunscreen when planning to be outdoors.
Sun Safety Tips To Help Teach To Kids
Most behavioral science tells us that starting early is the best way to learn new habits. This is especially true for our kids and grandkids.
Starting with keeping infants under6 months old out of the sun. Their skin is not mature enough to handle sunburn. Their eyes are not developed enough for protecting themselves from the sun. They are slower to blink when a bright light catches them. You have to do it for them.
Then as babies are over 6 months, they should still be protected. Being out in indirect sunlight is safer for them. Keep them protected from the sun. Some dermatologists say at 6 months they can have sunscreen to protect from indirect light but still should avoid direct sun.
At 12 months, it is OK for sunscreen, and very limited sunlight. These babies need you to protect them.
At the toddler stage, very limited direct sun, and before 10 AM and after 4 PM. Staying out of the direct sun, playing in shade, using umbrellas, and in general, making sure their skin is covered in UPF clothing is the safer way for them, here in my part of the world.
Making sure your youngsters have their skin covered in direct sun, using sunscreen, and very limited times in the sun. It is up to parents to keep them safe.
For School Age Kids and Teens, Modeling Is Important
Kids need to see you using your skin protection. They need to see you grab your hat to cover your head, ears, and face. They need to see you wearing long sleeves to keep the sun off your arms.
Arms don’t seem that important, but they get sunburned if you aren’t careful so easily. Your kids need to see you taking precautions. They need to know that your family is careful. That they are expected to be careful, not careless.
Teens have a lot of choices to make. It is helpful if some things are automatic for them. They tend to be more careless, take more chances, and in general test limits. When they learn from a young age to protect their skin, it makes less for them to have to decide.
M D Anderson . org Will give you more helpful tips for working skin safety into your everyday living.
Sami’s Take On Will My Kids Need UPF Clothing?
Don’t waste impressionable years. Teach your kids early how to protect their skin. It is important for youngsters to grow up with healthy skin. Too many people are developing issues with their general health, as they get older. Having problems because they did not learn to protect their skin should not be one of them.
Lupus, arthritis, and blood disorders are just a few of the disorders that are linked to too much sun. Research is finding that allowing our skin to be sunburned is one thing we can correct. We can cover our skin.
Skin cancer is one of the diseases like lung cancer that can be attributed to definite actions and choices we make. Teach your kids healthy lifestyles. Help them make skin protection important. Make it important when they are young.
Thanks for reading these suggestions. If just one thing makes your family happier it is worth the research I have spent hours on. I know you don’t have the time for reading and decipher the information to be able to put it to use. Yes, this is the information age. Use it for better skin health than me and my family have.