Will “normal” clothing protect my kids from the sun in fall and winter? Do they need SPF clothing when it isn’t so hot outdoors?
I mention on this site quite often how mild our winters are. We have very few days when we need more than a hoodie in the fall and winter. Will these be enough to protect us from the sun’s rays?
As we are learning more about the importance of how the fabric is made and the results for sun protection, it seems that for most days, we can rely on “normal” clothing.
The temperatures may not be as hot, but the sun’s rays are still dangerous.
Fall and winter are not the times of year we give much thought to preventing sunburn. Well, you may worry if you’re away for a tropical vacation. The chilly weather causes you to wear a layer of warmer clothing, which means you aren’t exposing as much of your skin to the sunlight.
So why should you be worried about sun damage during the fall and winter?
Heads up here, no matter what the temperature is, if the sun is shining, it is able to damage your skin.
The Skin Cancer Foundation warns us that:
“Reguardless of how many layers of clothing we wear, one part of our body, our head, and neck area often remains exposed to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation year-round.”
We also must remember that sun damage that causes skin cancer is cumulative, doctors emphasize. This means that if you kids are playing football or riding their bikes in the middle portions of the day in fall or winter. Or in July heat, it’s all adding up.
Sun damage to your skin during the winter is caused by UVA radiation. What are we to do to prevent this damage?
What Is UV Radiation? Can Normal Clothing Protect My Kid’s Skin?
Yes, when your kids cover their skin with darker colors and heavier knits like sweatshirts, they should be safe from the sun for a good while. Remember their hats to cover their heads and ears. Sunscreen on their faces, ears, neck, and noses.
The sun’s UV radiation is in 2 different strengths, which are labeled UVA and UVB.
In the fall and winter, the UVB rays, (UV ‘B’ for the burn in sunburn) are less dangerous, but they are there. And you can get sunburned if you are out in the sun too long. It just takes longer. However, with the milder days, it is easier to be out in the direct sun longer.
However, those UVA rays are harmful too.
These rays will go through glass. They can reach you when you’re sitting indoors near a window! UV B rays blast through clouds. Even on overcast days, you are not safe outdoors without skin protection. UVB rays account for 95% of the sun’s rays that reach the Earth.
The dangers of exposure to UVB rays? They can penetrate deep into your skin.
The main damage that UVA rays cause is photoaging.
Photoaging is a “bundle” of dangerous stuff for your skin. This bundle includes wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, liver spots, and various forms of hyperpigmentation. I know, you are not concerned about this danger for your kids, they are too young!
Yes, they may be young, but in time and with continued extended exposure over the course of several years, UVA damage can also eventually lead to potentially deadly forms of skin cancer. This damage seems so slight, you can’t even see it. It is setting your youngsters up for early, very early aging.
Check this link for when aging usually begins to show on your skin.
So what can you do to protect your kids besides protective clothing on their bodies?
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF), of 30 or higher helps keep skin supple and protected on the skin not covered with clothing.
Yes, Reflected Sun Rays Are Dangerous For Your Skin
Does your family enjoy spending time out on the snow during winter? My kids also loved getting a chance to ski, for the oppurtunity to get out on the powder. But you need to make sure that are wearing sunscreen. Their faces will sunburn quickly with the snow reflecting the UVrays.
Snow will prove to be an extremely reflective surface. Those skin damaging UVA rays will also get bounced off the snow, making for an intensified result during winter. Remember, since it isn’t hot, and you stay more comfortable, it is easier to stay out longer. Soon it will be too long a time for your skin.
So make sure your kids have sunscreen for their faces, neck, and ears whenever you’re going to spend time outdoors. Reapply every few hours to get the best protection.
This is doubly important if you’re on the slopes at high elevation. In that case, you get the extra intense reflected UVA rays plus the additional exposure because of elevation.
That’s not to say your family shouldn’t enjoy outdoor winter sports. Just be smart about it and use a sunscreen along with the clothing that is blocking the sun for their skin. Your sunglasses are an important part of this sun protection, especially in situations where the sun is reflecting off a surface.
Reflecting happens off walls with light colors. As well as water, sand, cement. Winter is a good time for tennis players to get in long hours of practice, but skin should be protected. Just take a look at some of the older tennis player to have some idea of what the sun can do to your skin.
Normal fall and winter time clothing can help keep your kids safe from the sun as long as they wear it. Kids tend to get careless, they don’t understand that this is permanent damage and that it doesn’t fade away as the tan does. This is where habits are important.
Does The Sun Affect My Kids Skin In The Fall And Winter?
Yes, everyone who spends time outside is exposed to the sun’s UVrays. This makes it very important to know how the sun effects your skin.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) tells that talking to our children, teens, and young adults is important. Especially the families who have with fair skin. Your kids should get in the habit of prevention when they are young.
Your kids need to know how to protect their skin. Even if your family has darker skin tones, you are still at risk for sunburn. Sunburn leads to a risk of skin cancer.
Unfortunately, at this time, there is not enough research to recommend early screenings for skin cancer. However, this does not mean that screening isn’t a good form of prevention.
Talk to your child’s doctor about screening if you are at risk of skin cancer. It is a good practice to check out your kids skin for moles that are growing, wonds that don’t heal, bumps or lunps on their skin. Don’t forget an exam for yourself as well.
Sami’s Take On Will “Normal” Clothing Protect My Kids From Too Much Sun In The Fall And Winter?
Do your kids need a full wardrobe of UPF clothing? No, their regular winter sweat shirts in darker deeper colors should offer protection form the sun. Cooler times of the year that find you kids covered in clothing is usually a safer skin time.
However, as the kids get older, they are often away from their parents more, and fall under the influence of their peers. If your kids best friend is an darker skin tone than your child? Well you can see the risk will go up.
Habits helping your kids know how to care for their skin is important for their overall skin health. Wearing a shirt with long sleeves, remembering the hat and sunglasses.
Keep in mind the family traits that need to be addressed. A family with light colored eyes, a tendency to freckle easily will sunburn quicker in the sun. Blonde hair, red hair? That gene is there for skin that will sunburn easily.
Helping your kids learn early will set the stage for teens who can better protect themselves from the sun.
If having UPF clothing makes your kids more aware, then it may be that their normal clothes aren’t the best for them. Reguardless of what they have at home in the closet, unless they wear the right sun blocking clothing, they will have sunburn when exposed to too much sun.
Helping your kids learn about protecting themselves from the sun is important, and isn’t a lesson learned in one swoop. It may take some sunburns to help them stay aware. This is why starting early with awareness and a plan to protect our skin is a family affair.
Unfortunately this can be inturperpted as Nagging!
Where are you with the sun protection and risk awareness for your family? Have you found some shortcuts that work for you? Please share in the comment sections so we can all learn.
Thanks for reading what I have found out about Will Normal Clothing Protect My Kids From The Sun In Fall And Winter.