Summer is definitely in full swing where I live. We went from having 50-degree days last month all the way to having a 97-degree day yesterday. But with summer comes lots of sunshine and outdoor activities, which in turn calls for protection from the sun. It’s so important to protect kids (and ourselves, really) from the sun’s ultraviolet rays to prevent sunburn — and more importantly, skin cancer. And sometimes sunscreen just doesn’t cut it, especially with kids. If you're looking for UPF clothing for kids, you’re in luck, because there are quite a few.
Where sunscreen can sometimes come off really easily while kids swim, sweat, and potentially rub it off — and some folks don’t really like all the chemicals in sunscreen — it’s nice to have an alternative to protect your kids while they’re romping in the sun. UPF clothing is especially important in babies, since you really aren’t supposed to put sunscreen on them until they’re 6 months old.
So what makes clothing items officially UPF-rated? REI noted on their website that UPF ratings “gauges a fabric’s effectiveness against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) light," which are the rays doing the damage to skin. The website noted you need to only look for the UPF spec on whatever clothing you’re considering, because clothing makers have already considered the construction, color, treatment, and fiber type of their product. REI listed UPF ratings with 15 to 20 being good, 20, 30, and 35 are very good, and 40, 45, 50 and 50+ are excellent. “A UPF rating of 25 indicates the fabric of a garment will allow [roughly 4 percent] of available UV radiation to pass through it. A garment rated UPF 50 permits only [roughly 2 percent] UV transmission. Any fabric that allows less than 2 percent UV transmission is labeled UPF 50+,” the website explained. Remember, for some materials, the wetness can reduce the UPF rating, as well as the wear, stretch, and the way you launder the clothing.
Sound like a dream come true for your family this summer? You may want to check out these 6 brands of clothing that have UPF protection for your family.