Guest blog: Sunny Summer Days, Responsibly

At first I was a little skeptical about UV clothes: what would I need them for? Aren’t ordinary clothes UV clothes in a way? Did anyone ever get sunburned wearing an ordinary t-shirt?

My attitude changed completely, however, on a trip to Thailand when our first daughter was a year and a half. We borrowed a friend’s Reima UV suit —and oh, what a handy item it turned out to be! Our child felt good wearing it on the beach, and it dried quickly afterwards. And it cut down the time and trouble of putting on sunscreen considerably. What a brilliant invention!

Ever since then our children have always — especially on hot holiday trips — played on the beach wearing UV suits.

The sun is wonderful! It gives you vitamin D and no end of joy and delight. You remember those childhood summers? The sun never stopped shining!

Even in northern Finland, it was always sweltering hot outside—at least in my memories. The sun stands for water play and children’s glee—and so much that we wistfully spend the long, dark Finnish winters recollecting.

But there’s also that other side to the sun; luckily, the dangers of too much sun are well known these days. We know we have to protect ourselves and avoid sunburn. There are really three ways to do so: we can stay indoors or in the shade, use sunscreen, or wear UV clothes. And out of these sunscreen is not recommended for infants.

There’s been a lot of talk about sunscreen in recent years—it’s even been suggested, that they could cause more cancer than the sun itself. To my nonexpert ears, that sounds like an odd idea; could it be instead, that people who wear sunscreen tend to also spend more time in the sun, and that’s what causes the increased risk?

I’m not against sunscreen myself: I gladly use quality sun care products on myself, and on my children. But I still think that the fewer chemicals I spread on my children’s skin, the better. I prefer to dress them in protective UV clothes, and use sunscreen lotions only on the exposed areas.

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