Maintaining Your Health

Skin Protection Over Style: 3 Tips for Choosing Your Child's Summer Clothing

When it comes to buying your child's summer clothing, you likely have two factors on your mind: style and staying cool. However, there's more to choosing a summer wardrobe than looks and comfort--you also need to make sure the clothes you choose protect your child's skin.

While skin cancer is rare in children, it can happen. More importantly, protecting your child's skin now will reduce their risk of getting skin cancer when they're older. Protection is especially important if you or another relative has had skin cancer, as some types run in families. Alongside taking children to a skin cancer clinic for regular checkups and making sure they always wear sunscreen, dressing them in safe clothing during Australia's scorching summer months is one of the best ways to keep their skin protected. Here are 3 tips for picking the most protective clothes.

Remember Natural Isn't Always Best

If you're a parent who tries to keep everything in their child's life as natural as possible, it may surprise you to learn that summer clothing is one area where natural isn't always best. Natural fabrics like cotton tend to be favoured because they're lightweight, but that's exactly what makes them bad for skin protection. These fabrics are thin, so they let more light pass through to your child's skin. Heavy natural fabrics like wool and denim are safe, but they're also very warm and uncomfortable in the summer. This year, try to choose clothing made from synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon for the best protection from the sun's rays.

Go Bold and Dark

When it comes to summer fashion, many people think light colours like white and pastels look best. While this may be in line with the laws of style, darker colours are much better for your child's skin. Dark and intense colours like black absorb more UV rays than light colours, preventing that UV from reaching your child's skin. Other bold and dark colours like rich purple, red and navy blue work great too. 

Avoid Hand-Me-Downs and Old Clothes

Thinking of dressing your child in the same clothes they wore last year or a sibling's hand-me-downs? Think again. While this may save you money, it won't give your child the skin protection they need unless those clothes happen to fit perfectly. The best summer clothes cover as much skin as possible without being tight. Old clothes that weren't bought with your child's current size in mind can often come up too small; when clothes fit tightly, the fabric stretches, allowing UV to seep through. Likewise, clothes that are too big may be so baggy that they leave large areas of skin exposed to the sun. It's best to buy all new clothes for your child this summer. And remember, if you choose 'out of season' colours like black and navy, you may be able to save money after all by shopping from the clearance rack.