What is UV protection?

The sun is by far the strongest source of ultraviolet radiation in our environment. Solar emissions include visible light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Just as visible light consists of different colours that become apparent in a rainbow, the UV radiation spectrum is divided into three regions called UVA, UVB and UVC.

As sunlight passes through the atmosphere, all UVC and most UVB is absorbed by ozone, water vapour, oxygen and carbon dioxide. UVA is not filtered as significantly by the atmosphere (source : World Health Organisation). The ultraviolet index or UV Index is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn-producing ultraviolet (UV) radiation at a particular place and time.

The best way to protect yourself and your children from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (UVR) is sun protective Clothing with UPF labels.

What is UPF? 

UPF means Ultraviolet Protection Factor. UPF is the rating designation for sun protective textiles and clothing. It’s similar to SPF (Sun Protection Factor) ratings for sunscreen. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor, which quantifies how effectively a piece of clothing shields against the sun. While standard summer fabrics have UPF ~6, sun protective clothing typically has UPF ~30, which means that only 1 out of ~30 units of UV will pass through (~3%). 

For example, a fabric rated UPF 30 means that, if 30 units of UV fall on the fabric, only 1 unit will pass through to the skin. A UPF 30 fabric that blocks 29 out of 30 units of UV is therefore blocking 96.7%.  

Below is the ASTM Standard for Sun Protective Clothing and Swimwear:

 UPF Rating Protection Category UV Radiation Blocked
UPF 15 – 24 Good 93.3% – 95.9%
UPF 25 – 39
Very Good 96.0% – 97.4%
UPF 40 – 50+
Excellent 67.5% – 98+

For your babies and toddler, doctors recommend garments with a UPF of at least 40 so that you know you’re getting effective sun protection. Elly la Fripouille use UPF 50+ rated fabrics (maximal sun protection) in their UV protective clothing.

Our fabrics block more than 98% of UVA and UVB rays. This level of all-day, broad spectrum UV protection allows people to live a normal life in the outdoors. To stay safe under the sun, dermatologists recommend to use this kind of swimwear for your children:

  • A long-sleeved shirt also called rash vest or rash top with a high neckline or collar that shields the back of the neck
  • Long pants
  • UV Wide-brimmed hats that shade your baby’s face, neck and ears. A wide-brimmed hat protects more of the face than a baseball cap
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses that block UV rays

Sun-protective swimwear doesn’t have to be boring !! Thanks to Ely La Fripouille, sun protective swimsuit can be fun, bright and fashionable. And when chosen and used correctly, UV clothing is the best form of sun protection you can find.

UV Protection for your eyes

UV radiation from the sun can damage not only your skin but also your eyes : the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye. Extended exposure to the sun's UV rays has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration, pingueculae, pterygia and photokeratitis that can cause temporary vision loss.

When you're choosing sunglasses, look for UV-protection details on product labels.

  • Choose sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays
  • For full vision protection, choose eyeglass lenses or sunglasses at UV400 protection or higher

Keep in mind that the color and degree of darkness sunglasses provide have nothing to do with the sunglasses' ability to block UV rays.

Large-framed and wraparound sunglasses are more likely to protect your eyes from light coming in from different angles. Children need smaller versions of real, protective adult sunglasses – not toy sunglasses. Children are more susceptible to retinal damage from UV rays because the lens inside a child's eye is clearer than an adult lens, enabling more UV to penetrate deep into the eye. Therefore, make sure your kids' eyes are protected from the sun with good quality sunglasses.

Wear a hat

A hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp. A dark, non-reflective underside to the brim can also help lower the amount of UV rays reaching the face from reflective surfaces such as water. A shade cap (which looks like a baseball cap with about 7 inches of fabric draping down the sides and back) also is good, and will provide more protection for the neck. These are often sold in sports and outdoor supply stores. If you don’t have a shade cap (or another good hat) available, you can make one by wearing a large handkerchief or bandana under a baseball cap.

we_a_hatAlso, encourage your child to wear a hat on sunny days to further reduce UV exposure.

A baseball cap protects the front and top of the head but not the neck or the ears, where skin cancers commonly develop. Straw hats are not as protective as hats made of tightly woven fabric.

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