Steal That Style: Safely Soak Up the Sun Like Levi!

05/27/2009 at 12:00 PM ET
Celebrity Baby Blog – Steal That Style

Beach towel? Check. Umbrella? Check. Sand toys? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Extra sunscreen?

We’ve asked for the warm weather, but are you and your family ready to safely soak up the sun? While that extra sunscreen might be a good idea, the growing trend of surf-inspired gear for toddlers is taking it one step further to keep those harmful rays at bay.

Jason Mitchell/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic

Traditionally worn by surfers to prevent chafing beneath their wetsuits and getting scratched by the sand sticking to their boards, rashguards, or swimshirts, are a great way to protect kids’ skin from the sun too! Not only do their nylon and spandex consistency make the gear fast-drying in the warm sun, but many rash guards also offer ultraviolet (UV) protection comparable to, or better, than sunscreen.

Swim shirts can be worn as a more casual look while the kids are out playing in the sun, visiting the zoo, or frolicking at the water park. With a variety of options available, including sleeve-lengths ranging from short to long and tops and full-body suits, they provide great protection from the UV rays. For children who are allergic to ingredients in sunscreen, the shirts are a great option: as long as baby’s skin is covered, no sunblock is needed underneath!

Steal That Style: Safely Soak Up the Sun with the looks below!

Cabana Life 3-Piece Set

Breaking Bank: We’ve got our eye on Cabana Life (we have an in-depth review coming up next week). Try their Rashguard 3-Piece Sets ($68) for girls, which includes a two-piece bathing suit and swim top, and the Crab Swim Set ($60) for boys, which includes a long-sleeve top and knee-length trunks. Sun BustersRashguard Short- Sleeve Ruched Set ($52) for girls includes a top and bikini bottom. The boys’ Short Sleeve All-in-One Swimsuit ($45) is a simple, yet stylish one-piece suit with a zippered front.

There is no doubt you will get your bang for your buck here! While the prices are high, consider the money well spent as Cabana Life products offer 50+ UV protection while Sun Busters guarantees the same protection against 98% of all UV rays.

Snapper Rock’s Baby Short-Sleeve Rash Top

Not Pinching Pennies: Snapper Rock‘s Baby Short-Sleeve Rash Top ($35) for both boys and girls have high collars to protect the neck and wide openings to make it easier to get over baby’s head (check out our in-depth review). We also like UV Skinz: for girls, Ava Swimshirt ($29); for boys, the Casey Swimshirt ($25). Not only are both shirts made with a tight weave that blocks UV rays and stitching that allows rambunctious toddlers a maximum range of motion, the products are all chemical-free. For a great look for boys and girls alike, try Baby Banz One-Piece UV Swimwear ($31).

Cherokee Short-Sleeve Rashguard

Bargain Buying: Check out Target‘s collection for low budget swim tops.  For girls, we like Circo Rashguard with Bikini Bottom in Aqua ($10), a two piece set that includes a colorful short sleeve rash guard;  for boys we like Cherokee Short-Sleeve Rashguard ($11) — a simple rash guard that offers UPF 50+ protection. For a few more bucks, check out i play baby wear‘s UV One-Piece Short-Sleeve Sunsuit for both girls and boys ($19).

— Anya

Do your kids wear swimtops or one-piece sunsuits? Which is your favorite brand?

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MZ on

I heard suscreen is bad for a kid under the age of 6 months. Is this true? Also, how do you guys keep your infants in hats? We finally found one small enough for our 3 month old (he has a larger than average head and *still* everything was way too big) and he keeps knocking it off.

MomE on

MZ, consult with your pediatrician on the sunscreen…. Or make an educated parental decision. Mine said none, just keep her out of the sun. So I did. Honestly, if I wasn’t able to keep her out of the sun, I probably would have used a sunBLOCK (non chemical based that blocks sun rays).

You might consider long sleeves and pants with UV protection if you are concerned about using sunscreen.

Also, for my very curious, active girl I get hats that tie or velcro under the chin. I put it on her when she’s out the door and distracted by so much stimulation. Then I keep her distracted any time she takes her hat off. The more I make it a big deal (calmly distract her! don’t make a big deal!) the more she wants to take it off.

This is what worked for my daughter…. Hope it helps!

MomE on

Oh, I didn’t mention, with the hat, tuck one tie behind the ear on the side like. This kept her from pulling it down in front of her. The distraction worked for when she pulled it back behind her.

Nikki on

I’m sorry, but wouldn’t it be just that little more safe if we put ‘hats’ on our little list of sunsafe products?

MomE on

I think the article was meant to point out where you could find the “swimsuit” or similar ones to the one Levi is wearing….

MZ on

thanks MomE! 🙂 we live in CA so it gets so hot that i think my 4 month old would roast if i had him in long sleeves and pants. at the same time, it’s hard to keep him out of the sun or i’d never get to go anywhere with him lol. i’m going to ask his pediatrician at his appt. in a couple of weeks but figured i’d see what other moms are doing in the mean time.

Emily on

Are sea-shirts new in the states? I’m Australian, I wore one when i was a tot and am now in my 20s. Have they not been around for decades?

MomE on

MZ, I live in CA too. I promise you long pants and sleeves will not roast your child. Just use 100% cotton clothing so it breathes and doesn’t cause rashes (I don’t think swim outfits are cotton, but in all other cases). Haven’t you ever seen pics of people who live in the desert and cover up in thick layers? Keeping the sun off your skin can actually keep you cooler. I am VERY sensitive to sun. I burn even with SPF 70 on. I have to wear long sleeves if I will be out in direct sunlight. I do not roast. Actually I stay cooler.

But again, run this by a doctor and use parental judgement. If you child is hot, he or she is hot and you need to take proper care of that.