As summer approaches the need for UV protection rises, mostly for your little ones. With all that splashing in the water reapplying sunscreen isn't always the easiest. Make your life simpler by having your kids wear UPF labeled, sun protective swimwear.
UPF, a concept originally standardized in Australia in 1996, stands for ultraviolet protection factor, which quantifies how effectively a piece of clothing shields against the sun. The label means the fabric has been tested in a laboratory and consumers can be confident about the listed level of protection. It is based on the content, weight, color, and construction of the fabric, and indicates how much UV can penetrate the fabric. For instance, a shirt with a UPF of 50 allows just 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach your skin. This would provide excellent sun protection, in contrast to a thin white cotton T-shirt, which has a UPF of about , which allows 1/5th of the sun’s UV through — even more when wet. In studies done in Australia, lycra/elastane fabrics were the most likely to have UPFs of 50 or higher, followed by nylon and polyester.
Today, systems for testing and determining UPF are similar around the world. In many countries, including the US, the ASTM International (formerly called the American Society for Testing and Materials) criteria for UPF assessment are used; UPF labels in the US often state that an item meets ASTM International standards.
Make a splash without the burn