Growing up, Jamie Robin was no stranger to burns.
“When I was younger, I remember being in the pool for hours on end and I would burn every vacation,” she says. Now a mother of three, Robin says she’s determined to protect her kids from the sun exposure she grew up with.
“We are very exposed and need to be really, really cautious,” Robin says of her family. “Both of the boys are definitely outdoor kids. They’re sport kids.”
But wrangling a crew of kiddos and slathering on sunscreen has its challenges and remembering to apply every day is something even the most diligent parents forget. That’s why board-certified dermatologist Amy Brodsky is trying to bring sun-protective clothing into the mainstream with her foundation, the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation.
She says a normal T-shirt has an SPF between five and seven.
“Yes, you probably will not burn through that shirt and the UVB rays are what’s causing you to burn but through that shirt, you’ll also get UVA rays,” Brodsky says.
Sun-protective shirts, however, have an SPF of 100. Brodsky is working with Northwestern Medicine to conduct a study on the effectiveness of sun-protective shirts in regard to skin cancer. She says she hopes that in years to come, these shirts will become a staple for all parents and kids.
“You wouldn’t send your child out on a bicycle without a bicycle helmet, so why would you send your child to camp or to the pool without a sun-protect shirt?,” she asks.
Check out her three tips for keeping your little ones safe in the sun:
- Use sun-protective shirts
- Apply sunscreen every two hours and make sure you’re using at least two ounces.
- Don’t forget about the eyes! “Kids eyes are so vulnerable so sunglasses are a must,” Brodsky says.
How do you protect your kids? Let us know in the comment section below!