I know, I know. You're probably thinking, "Another article telling me that my child needs to be using a sunscreen every day."
But hear me out: not only is it essential for your little one's skin health to wear sunscreen daily, but sun protective clothing (SPF clothing) can help protect them from the sun even more. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal recommendation, UPF clothing can block up to 98% of the sun's harmful UV rays.
So before the hottest months of the year hit in full force and you have to start slathering your kiddo in sunscreen every morning and afternoon, why not invest in SPF clothing instead? Keep reading to find out everything you need about wearing UPF clothing!
What is sun protection clothing?
As any parent knows, kids are like little hurricanes. They're always on the move, and they never seem to run out of energy. But while their boundless energy is a joy to behold, it can also be a challenge when it comes to keeping them safe from the sun's harmful rays. That's why children's sun protection clothing is such an essential part of summertime.
UV protective clothing is a special type of clothing that helps protect them from the sun's harmful rays. These clothes are made from fabrics that are specially treated to reflect sunlight and offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) and SPF ratings of 50 or higher. In other words, they provide excellent protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
They can come in a variety of different styles, including swim shirts, hats, shorts, and even swimsuits. And, while this type of clothing is not required for all children, it is recommended for those who spend a lot of time outdoors or who have sensitive skin. Sun protection clothing can help to prevent sunburns, skin cancer, premature skin aging, and other harmful effects of overexposure to the sun.
But why can’t my kid wear their regular clothes instead?
When it comes to protecting yourself from the sun, regular clothes just don't cut it. That's because most fabrics, even if they're thick, only provide partial sun protection.
Why? Because regular fabrics, such as cotton or polyester, are not tightly woven and allow UV rays to pass through, making them less effective at protecting your skin. In contrast, UPF fabrics are made of tightly-woven materials that provide a barrier against UV rays.
In fact, the average piece of clothing only blocks out about 5-10% of the sun damage. On the other hand, clothes that are specifically designed to protect against the sun (known as sun protective clothing) can block out up to 98% of UV light.
UPF vs SPF clothing: What is the difference?
UPF and SPF both sound like they would be great for a day at the beach. And they both are! But they do have some key differences.
UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a fabric protects your skin from UV rays. The higher the UPF, the more protection it offers. SPF, on the other hand, stands for Sun Protection Factor. This is a measure of how well a sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays.
Sounds complicated? Here's a quick primer: SPF is a measure of how long you can stay in the sun without burning, while UPF is a measure of how much UV radiation is blocked. In other words, SPF is a measure of time, while UPF is a measure of protection.
For example, if your kiddos use an SPF 30 sunscreen, they can stay in the sun for 30 times longer than they could without sunscreen before burning. And if they wear a shirt with a UPF of 50, it will block out 50% of UV radiation.
So, UPF clothing is like built-in sunscreen, while SPF is like an extra layer of protection that you can add to your kids’ skin and reapply every now and then. Either way, they’ll be protected from harmful UV rays all day long!
How to choose the best UV protection clothing?
Summertime is here, and that means it's time to break out the shorts, dresses, and swimsuits! But before you let your little ones loose in the sun, there are a few things you need to know about sun protective clothing.
1. Make sure your child is comfortable
No matter how good protection is, if your child isn't comfortable in their clothing, they're not going to want to wear it. So make sure to choose items that are breathable and allow your child to move freely.
Find clothes with a snug fit that doesn’t stretch or wear off easily, that way you can be sure that the same piece of clothing will last them for a while!
2. Look for clothing with a high UPF rating
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it measures how well a fabric protects against UV rays. The higher the UPF, the better. Clothing with a UPF of 50+ is considered to be very good protection, while anything below 15 offers very little protection.
So when you're shopping for your kids this summer, be sure to look for clothing with a UPF of 50 or higher. It might not be as fun as picking out many cute swimsuits or sundresses, but it could save your child's skin from a lifetime of damage (and the designs are very cute too)
3. Choose tightly-woven fabrics
Fabrics like nylon and spandex are great choices for blocking UV light because they’re tightly woven, offer great coverage, and are kind against your kiddos’ delicate skin.
4. Avoid see-through fabrics
Sheer fabrics might look cute, but they won’t do much to protect your child from UV radiation. Instead, opt for solid fabrics that will provide better coverage.
SPF clothing for children that are a MUST
There are many types of sun protective clothing on the market these days. But which ones are a must?
Here are our top 3:
UV protection shirts are made from a special fabric that blocks out most of the sun's UV rays. This helps to keep kids safe from sunburn and other harmful effects of too much sun exposure, like skin cancer and premature skin aging.
They are very comfortable to wear, so kids can enjoy their time at the pool or the beach without feeling weird. Plus, they come in different colors and patterns so you can match them with your kiddo's reusable swim diapers!
2. Sun hats
When it comes to keeping kids safe from the sun, there's no such thing as being too cautious. Sure, sunscreen is important, but what about the top of their heads? That's where a good hat comes in.
Not only does it provide an extra layer of sun protection, but it also helps to keep their heads cool and comfortable in hot weather. And let's be honest: kids look pretty darn adorable in hats.
You can look for hats with an adjustable snapback closure, mesh breathable back, and made with a lightweight material.
UPF pants are available in a variety of styles, so you can choose something that matches your child's personality. But more importantly, these sun-safe products can help to keep your child safe from sunburn and other damage.
What kiddos should use UV protective clothing?
Sun protective clothing is a MUST for any kid that spends a lot of time at the beach or the pool. Hand in hand with sunscreen, these pieces shield your child from the UV light and give them all the sun protection they need to avoid skin cancer, rashes, allergies, etc.
However, it is especially important that children with sun sensitivity use UPF clothing every time they are exposed to the sun. Sun sensitivity in kids is no laughing matter. It's a real condition that affects a child's ability to tolerate sunlight.
Kids with sun sensitivity may experience a burning sensation on their skin after being in the sun for just a few minutes. They may also develop a rash or hives.
That’s why it is important for them to wear not only sunscreen but also sun protective clothing!
Infant sun protection clothing: Extra tips to keep in mind
Now you know everything there is to know about UPF clothing and why it is a must-have this summer. However, here is a quick resume of all the things you need to keep in mind:
1. Not all clothing can protect against the sun
Your kiddo’s fave shirt won’t protect them against UV light! You need to find UPF clothing that is specifically designed for protection. Go for clothes with UPF 50 or more.
2. This doesn’t mean they should never wear sunscreen
Sun protection clothes do an amazing job protecting your kid’s skin, however, adding a layer of sunscreen on the spots that are not covered by the fabric will help you keep UV radiation at bay whenever your kids are exposed.
Children's sun protection clothing: Where to find it?
Ready to start finding the best sun protective clothing for your little one? You’ve come to the right place!
At Beau & Belle Littles we have the best and most fashionable UPF clothing for them. From swim shirts and swim diapers to the cutest hats in the world, we have what you need to keep your children protected and looking cool throughout the hottest season of the year.
Visit our store and get your goodies!
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