Sun Protective Clothing
Sun protective clothing is extremely important. Even on a cloudy day in the fall or winter 80% of ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun penetrates through. This UV radiation is linked to skin cancer and premature aging. Skin cancer prevention starts in early childhood. Sun damage is cumulative over your lifetime.
I worry about our sun exposure. I am naturally very fair/pale, as are my children, especially my 9 year old. Even when using a high SPF sunscreen, we have a tendency to burn. During the summer we try to do our outdoor activities in the early mornings and early evenings, but if we are out during the peak sunlight hours we try to make sure to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Skin cancer is a real concern, and I want to do everything in my power to protect my kids. Because sun damage is cumulative over your lifetime, prevention should start in childhood. Sunscreen isn’t enough. In addition to a good quality sunscreen, what the boys needed was sun protection clothing.
Little Leaves has an entire line of sun protective clothing for infants/toddlers, children, and even adults. The Little Leaves fabric is made from 67.5% bamboo fibers. The sun protection comes from the construction of the fabric which is a blend of bamboo, cotton and spandex. Little Leaves has a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50 compared to a regular cotton shirt that has a UPF of about 5! With the Little Leaves sun protection clothing, 98% of harmful rays are blocked!
Little Leaves uses an exclusive sun protection technology which is:
- Hypoallergenic – environmentally friendly, chemical free, toxin free, pesticide free bamboo, with graphics made from water-based ink
- Lightweight and Breathable – cooler than traditional fabrics and more breathable than 100% cotton
- Moisture Wicking – absorbs 4 times more moisture than cotton
- Antibacterial and anti-fungal, naturally odour resistant
- Durable – stronger than traditional cotton shirts
- Super Soft – Bamboo is an incredibly soft fabric and believe it or not: repeated washings make it even softer and more comfortable!
- Easy Care – Naturally stain resistant, and machine washable
- Added bonus: all clothing is also tagless!
I was lucky enough to be sent some shirts for the boys to test out. Not only are the designs really cute, the shirts themselves are super soft. Thomas has always hated wearing long sleeved shirts until receiving the ones from Little Leaves. I was worried that wearing a long sleeved shirt in the heat would be uncomfortable, but I had nothing to worry about. The boys are cooler and more comfortable in their long sleeved Little Leaves shirts than in regular short sleeved cotton shirts. Kristopher, who has a sensory disorder and is very specific about the types of clothing (especially fabrics) that he will wear, LOVES his shirt. He tells me its comfortable enough to sleep in (which is high praise from him).
On top of the pure comfort and the excellent function, the shirts are also attractive with fun designs and they hang nicely when on. I found that the fit was generous, fitting just a little larger than similarly sized clothing. Thomas normally wears a size 12, but the Little Leaves size 10 fit him comfortably (with the size 12 being a little bit too long in length and sleeves).
Personally, I love how easy these shirts are to take care of. I was worried that they would be hand wash, or hang-dry, but I just pop them in with the rest of our laundry. They wash incredibly well, and even after multiple washings, the shirts look like new. Best of all, I love the peace of mind I have knowing that I am doing everything I can to protect my kids now (and for the future).
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in my home province of Alberta. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 7 Albertans will develop some kind of skin cancer in their lifetime.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips:
- Cover up! Wear sun protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, long-pants and a hat.
- Avoid peak sunlight exposure (between 10am-3pm). Seek shade!
- Keep babies out of the sun! Sunscreens should only be used on babies who are older than 6 months, and you should use products specifically designed for babies.
- Not all sunscreen is created equally. Physical (mineral) sunscreens contain blockers (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). Physical sunscreens protect by blocking and/or deflecting the sun’s rays away from you. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays. A Physical sunscreen is more natural (and possibly better for you), and are safe for children, those like me with sensitive/allergic skin, and those like Hayden with eczema. Whatever sunscreen you decide on, make sure it has a good SPF rating.
- Wear your preferred sunscreen on all exposed skin (don’t forget about your ears)! Use a good quality broad-spectrum, water-resistant (UVA and UVB) sunscreen with a SPF 30 or higher. We never use anything less than SPF 50.
- Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure and should be reapplied generously at least every 90 minutes to 2 hours (or more frequently if you’re playing in water or sweating a lot).
- Examine your skin head to toe at least once a month to look for changes and see a doctor yearly (for a physical and professional skin exam)
- Even on cloudy days the UV index can be high so you should always use a combination of protective measures.
- Don’t forget: sun protection is just as important during the winter as it is during the summer. Just because it is cold out, doesn’t mean the sun isn’t hurting your skin!
If you would like to learn more about Little Leaves and their sun protection clothing, please visit them online and connect with them on social media.
Little Leaves is offering an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE for A Mom’s Perspectives Readers! Save 10% on your Little Leaves protective clothing order by using code MP10 when checking out!
Little Leaves offers FREE shipping within the US. Shipping rates will vary outside of the US but are incredibly reasonable!
Andrea resides in Calgary, Alberta, and is the proud mom to five boys between the ages of 7-22. Running mainly on coffee and sarcasm, in her spare time she enjoys listening to Canadian Rock, watching Calgary Flames hockey, reading YA Dystopian novels, and binge watching 90s television on Netflix.
Disclosure: I received samples for testing and review purposes. Opinions in this post are honest, and my own, and have not been altered or influenced in any way.
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