Protect your kids from damaging UV rays

August 18, 2009 9:12:35 AM PDT
No matter how carefully you protected your children from the sun this summer, in the next two weeks, they'll be back in school and playing outside during recess in the hottest part of the day. Some of these clothes you already have in your child's closet. You can find sun protective clothing in your child's closet, if you know what to look for.

"The tunic is longer, have long sleeves and the leggings are great gives more coverage than a just dress would," said Dermatologist, Dr. Susan Chon with M.D. Anderson.

And forget whites and light colors, you want dark items.

"The white lets in more sunlight. So the darker fabric and the tightly woven fabric helps," said Dr. Chron.

Micah wears longer sleeves and longer shorts. But what really protects him are the hat and sunglasses. And for him, sun protection is critical. He's a leukemia survivor, whose treatments made him extremely vulnerable to the sun.

"It's imperative he keep his skin protected it's not even an option for him," said Micah's mother, Angie Farmer.

Breanne shows us the scar where doctors removed a deadly melanoma when she was just six years old. UV protection is critical for her too.

"If nothing else sunscreen and hats," said Breanne's mother Malina White.

Breanne and her sister Faygan tried on the new SPV 50 outfits. Chon says the fabric can block 97 percent of UV rays.

"It's not a chemical in the fabric is the weave of the fabric. It's very tight. It actually blocks out a certain percentage of the UV rays," said Dr. Chron.

"I like the flowers on it and the hat," said Faygan White who likes UV protective clothes.

"It's my favorite color pink," said Breanne.

"Does it feel comfortable," we asked.

She replied, "Yes."

And you can get much of the same protection by looking for tight weaves in your own clothes. Here is a tip, if you can see through a material when you hold it up to the light -- the sun can get through it too.

Eyewitness News also asked about the spray on UV protector for clothes. The doctor said the chemical in it does protect against UV rays. You spray it on your child's clothes and it should last for about 20 washings.

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Christi Myers is ABC13's Healthcheck reporter.

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