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UV-protective clothing for children: Carefree in the sun

14 Jul 2020

UV protection clothing for kids with Oekotex standard

Children need particularly effective protection in summer - and the right clothing. © mayakova /

Children's skin is soft and very sensitive. Therefore, the little ones need particularly effective protection in summer - and the right clothing. Because sun and UV rays can even passe through shirts and trousers and cause sunburn. Textiles that block dangerous UV radiation are therefore a new trend in the children's clothing segment.

Whether by the lake, on the playground or in the garden: in warm weather and sunshine, children especially like to romp outside. To ensure that the summer fun does not cause sunburn, children must be provided with suitable sun protection at least every two hours; if they bathe or splash around in the water even more frequently. After all, every sunburn in childhood increases the risk of developing skin cancer later on.

UV radiation even passes through clothing

It is not enough just to apply cream to uncovered children's skin. Because sun and UV rays can even passe textiles. So it also depends on the right clothing. Many parents don't know this - a good chance for committed specialist retailers to score points with competent advice.The thinner and lighter children's clothing is, the less it protects the skin from the sun and UV rays. Delicate, white cotton or viscose materials only have a sun protection factor of 5 to 10, but when wet, the UV protection completely diminishes. Better suited are denser fabrics in stronger, darker colours, preferably made of polyester or mixed fabrics.

Clothing made of high-tech fibres

Clothing made of high-tech fibres is provided with special UV protection and blocks out sunlight - ©

UV-protective clothing for children must meet these requirements

For sensitive children's skin, manufacturers such as Beach Bandits , Hyphen or Sunkids offer clothing made of high-tech fibres that have special UV protection and block sunlight. The advantage: the textiles are extra densely woven and yet light and elastic, so that they can follow all movements while romping. If they get wet, they dry particularly quickly so that the UV protection is quickly restored.

Not all UV textiles offer effective protection. Recommended garments have a UPF value of 50 or more. UPF stands for "Ultraviolet Protection Factor" and corresponds to the sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen. Even more important than the UPF/USF factor is the standard to which the clothing has been tested. In order to meet the European standard (EN 13758) or the Australian-New Zealand standard (AS/NZW 4399), the garments are only tested when they are brand new. The problem: After repeated wearing and washing, the UV protection decreases significantly. Only clothing that meets UV Standard 801 offers safety here. This is because the textiles are stretched and washed several times under realistic conditions.

UV protective clothing protects against sunburn, but is often not particularly environmentally friendly. Many shirts, trousers and caps are made of petroleum-based synthetic fibres such as lycra, nylon or polyester. Some are also equipped with chemical filters that are suspected of being harmful to health. On the safe side are parents and retailers with textiles that carry the "Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex" label for guaranteed freedom from harmful substances.

We are already excited about how this segment will develop in the future!