What Makes a Good Sunhat?
As adults we have many responsibilities, but when it comes to playing outside in the hot summer sun, sun safety must always come first. We know that covering our children with long-sleeved loose fitting shirts, slathering them with sunscreen, and making them wear hats is a must. Functionality and safety are key aspects, but one of the biggest challenges we face as parents is actually getting our kids wearing sunhats.
So, with the plethora of sunhats available, how can you know the sunhat will serve its purpose and protect?
This has nothing to do with temperatures. It’s related to how much protection a person, especially a child, should have when wearing a sunhat.
According to the Australian Cancer Council, the best sunhats for children protect right around, including the face, neck and ears. Examples of such hats are broad-brimmed, bucket or legionnaire-style sunhats. Today, many people will pick a sunhat based on fashion, but it's important to remember that functionality should always come first. Baseball caps have long been a favourite, but they’re lacking when it comes to sun protection for children, as they unfortunately don’t provide enough coverage and protection. See the Australian Cancer Council’s recommended brim width measurements below:
Safe Outdoor Fun
Playing outside is important and should be encouraged. But when it comes to choosing a good functional sunhat for kids, you need to consider which activities they’ll be doing. A safe bet is choosing two hats – one for dry outdoor activities and the other for water-fun. These days a number of manufacturers specialise in sunhats for different activities like slip on bicycle helmet hats or surf hats.
You already know it’s difficult to get kids to wear sunhats, so your kids’ comfort should also be kept in mind. Since children rarely wear sunglasses, choose darker colours to reduce the glare. Choosing a sunhat with side ventilation that doesn’t affect the UPF can also reduce sweating. If possible, look for an inbuilt sweatband to reduce rashes and discomfort. Ensure it fits well by measuring the circumference of your child’s head just above the ear and comparing it to the hat’s labelled size. Removable chin ties will also keep the hat in place. With young children, breakaway chin ties should also be a feature to prevent hazards such as choking.
Kids Must Love It
Given that children don’t particularly enjoy wearing hats anyway, we need to ensure that they’re not only protected, but that they also love it. If they don’t like the style or colour, they’re going to be less inclined to wear it. Browse some online retailers with your child. A few places to start are Kids Outdoor Gear and the Australian Cancer Council. Allowing your child to pick their own sunhat means that they’re involved in the process and invested – and as you know, when children feel a part of a process, they’re going to be more likely to play by the rules.
Remember, all it takes is your child just getting severely sunburnt once to double their risk of developing skin cancer later on in their life. So when your children are enjoying outdoor play make sure they Slip, Slop and Slap on a good protective sunhat.