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Protect your children with UV-blocking clothing

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Use built-in sunscreen this summer

Sick of trying to plaster sunscreen on wiggly children? Learn why UV-blocking swimwear and clothes are one of the best options for protecting kids from cancer-causing rays.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, clothing is the most effective form of sun protection. When your kids are playing out in the sun, dress them in clothing made especially for protecting delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays. When choosing sports clothes and swimwear for your children, check for the garment’s UPF rating. The FTC explains that the higher the UPF, the higher the protection from UV rays that contribute to skin damage and skin cancer. For the best protection, look for clothing rated UPF 50 and use sunscreen on exposed skin. Check out these stylish options to protect your kids.

Coolibar infant splashy hat

Babies don’t have much hair to protect the sensitive skin of the scalp, ears and neck. Cover beach-bound infants in the cute Splashy Hat ($15) from Coolibar. The firm brim and attached neck flap keep little ones shaded while swimming and playing outside. The Splashy Hat is also available in blue stripes and funky swirls. Regardless of your child's age, shop for a hat with a rating of UPF 50 and a wide brim.

Moby UV baby wrap

Thanks to the Moby UV baby wrap ($53), it’s possible to wear your baby with UPF 50 protection. The natural cotton fabric breathes enough to keep baby cool while the special fabric protects his brand-new skin from the sun’s rays. For parents in warm, sunny climates, this is a babywearing must-have.

UV Skinz swim shirt

For active boys and girls, UV Skinz offers sun protection in a stylish, rash guard swim shirt ($33). Available in sizes 2 to 16, these shirts come in a huge variety of colors and patterns. After losing her husband to skin cancer, Rhonda Sparks founded UV Skinz and carries sun protective clothing for infants, kids and adults. Sparks promotes sun safety and skin cancer awareness, including donating swim shirts to infants.

Learn more about summer skin care for children >>

Xtreme Gear sunglasses

To protect eyes from damage, the CDC recommends wearing sunglasses that block as close to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays as possible. Real Kids Shades carries sunglasses for sizes ranging from babies to teens. The Xtreme Gear convertible sunglasses ($40) are appropriate and safe for active kids playing sports and playing at the beach. The sleek, adult style will help encourage kids to keep sunglasses on.

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Solartex girl’s rash guard and bikini

If you have a girl who loves expressing her own fashion sense, it can be difficult to encourage adequate sun protective clothing. Solartex carries cap-sleeved and long-sleeved swim shirts ($38) with funky floral designs and matching bikini bottoms and swim skirts. These chlorine-resistant bathing suits help fight the wear and tear that can cause fabric to lose its UPF rating. The designs are sweet and fashionable without exposing too much skin to the sun.

More sun safety

How to prevent childrens' sunburns
Sunscreen for kids
Teens and tanning — a dangerous combination

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