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How to dress your kids for the warm weather

As the weather warms up, your kids will naturally want to explore and play outside more. Through it all, you want to make sure that your little one is cool, comfortable, and well-protected from the sun's harsh rays. You should thus wisely choose appropriate summer clothing to ensure this. Read on to discover how to dress your little ones for warm weather.

1. Choose tight-weave cotton clothes

Cotton is one of the most ideal fabrics for summer and hot weather in general. Not only is it cheap and widely available, but it’s also great for heat regulation. Your kids’ clothing for a hot summer day outdoors should ideally be made of 100 percent lightweight cotton which is breathable and allows for air to reach your kid’s body. This way, when he/she inevitably perspires, the sweat is soaked up by the fabric instead of sticking to the skin and causing irritation.

Choose tight-weave cotton clothing that will block as much of the sun’s rays as possible. To confirm that the clothes you choose are tight woven, hold them up to the sun – the less the light that shines through, the better. Ideally, go for cool long sleeves as they will offer as much coverage for bare skin as possible.

2. Peel back the layers

Hot weather means that you should take it easy with the layering and stick to simple, easy outfits instead. Lose the onesie under your little one’s shorts and tee to cool them down.

 For little girls, consider choosing a simple sleeveless dress should work well for a day out, and for little boys, easy pull-on shorts and cute graphic t-shirts will keep things cool and casual.

3. Invest in a sunhat and a pair of sunglasses

Look for sun hats that will protect your little one’s face, scalp, neck, and ears. Look for one that features an oversized brim or a legionnaire flap for ultimate protection, as well as a chin strap that will make it easier to keep it in place. Start getting your kids used to wearing hats by introducing them as early as possible, starting with lightweight, breathable varieties that can fold easily.

It’s never too early for your child to start sporting sunglasses, especially since these cool accessories are effective at protecting his/her eyes from damage caused by UV rays. You will want a pair that blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. If your little rascal is having a hard time keeping them on, try adding a wrap-around elastic band.

4. Look for sun-blocking clothes

If your kids are going to be exposed to the sun for extended periods, make their clothes work overtime by going for varieties that contain sun protection, otherwise known as UPF (ultraviolet protection factor). For example, a top with a UPF rating of 15 will only allow 1/15th of the sun’s rays to pass through it. To increase protection from UV rays, consider choosing clothes with a high UPF rating – the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a UPF of at least 30, with UPF 50 considered the ideal.

5. Choose footwear carefully

If it was up to him/her, your little adventurer would probably run around with bare feet in the summer, but it's your job to make sure that their tender feet are adequately protected. Choose a waterproof sandal that features a flexible sole and quick-drying fabric to ensure their comfort. Good quality footwear will also adequately keep their feet properly supported and help prevent any blisters and discomfort.

6. Pick light and comfortable pajamas

The type of pajamas your little nugget wears to bed in the summer will largely depend on how hot or cold your house is. If you don't mind cranking the air conditioner up on hot nights, then short-sleeve cotton pajamas and a lightweight blanket are probably the best choices. If your home tends to be on the warmer side or if your child runs warm at night, a onesie and light sheet should be adequate.

7. Pick the right swimwear

A swimsuit is a must-have item in most kids’ summer wardrobes. To ensure that they’re adequately protected, slip a top over your little one’s favorite swimsuit, where he/she is splashing about at the pool or beach. The most suitable cover-up for both girls and boys are rash guards – the body-hugging, long-sleeved tops you may have seen being worn by surfers that come in quick-dry, stretchy fabrics such as Lycra and nylon 

8. Stick to light-colored clothing

Light-colored clothes are ideal for summer as they reflect most of the sun’s rays, thereby absorbing less heat. On the contrary, darker or black clothes absorb more wavelengths, thereby absorbing more heat. To keep your child comfortable, look for whites, pastels, and pale tones.

Additional tips

  • Wash clothes in sun protection

Increase the sun protection of summer clothes for your kids by washing them in a sun protection formula like SunGuard, which washes an impressive SPF 30 into fabrics.

  • Layer on the sunscreen

Sunscreen should not be neglected even if your kids are wearing clothing that offers sun protection. Have them wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply the sunscreen generously before sun exposure, and reapply frequently especially after swimming, toweling, and perspiring.

  • Choose clothes that are easy to put on and take off

Choose clothes that will be easy to put on and take off especially if you have a wiggly kid who is eager to get outside. Things like elastic hems, cuffs, and waists will save you the fuss of having to make constant adjustments.

Final thoughts

With the rise of temperature, kids are at a higher risk of sun exposure and overheating than adults. With all the activities that they get involved in, they’re less likely than adults to notice when it's time to take a break for shade and water. What's more, sunburns in childhood increase the risk of melanoma.

Therefore, regardless of the clothing you choose for him/her, it's best to keep your little one out of direct sun rays are strongest (between 10 am and 4 pm), or have them in summer wear that offers as much UV protection as possible at the very least.

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