We all know it is important to have healthy skin. Since more than 1/3 of all skin cancer appears on the face and the number one culprit for wrinkles and premature aging is the sun, wearing a good sun protective hat is a preventative measure too important to miss. A sunburn is never good , but remember sun damage is also cumulative. In other words, UV injury upon injury adds up over time to accumulate into major skin damage. The earlier sun protective measures are started, the better.
Let me say up front that kids can be tough when it comes to hats. Not that they are hard to fit but that getting a child to wear a hat can be a challenge. If you start them off wearing hats from infancy, like a car seat, they may come to expect wearing a sun hat is just a way of life. But even then, we often hear that most kids go through the "There is no way I am wearing a hat" stage. But fear not! As fellow conspirators in your child's well-being, we think we may have some ideas that make wearing a hat fun!
So let's start with getting a good fit, and we will end with suggestions that might help you get your children interested in wearing their sun hats.
Getting a good fit: The best way to get a good fit is the old fashion way of measuring the circumference of the head. For some of our hats we include age equivalents but beware! Head size varies dramatically for both adult and children with no regard to age or gender. We have seen 8 year olds with adult size heads. So measure around the head (above the eyes and ears... where the hat brim sits) with a soft measuring tape or use a string and then measure the length of the string to take the guess work out of sizing.
As we all know, kids grow at an alarming rate. Most of our hat measurements are within a range, but if your child's head measurement is very close to the next larger size, you may want to consider choosing that bigger size.
Our brim sizes are all child appropriate, but you will most likely have insights as to the width of the brim that is best for your child. We would suggest you go with your gut feeling on this one, remembering that the wider the brim, the more sun will be blocked. Additionally, a brim with a downward slope will increase the sun protective ability of the hat.
Unless you know your child has a problem with a chin strap, we would suggest a chin strap to keep the hat on in the wind and when at play. If the hat you choose comes with a unwanted chin strap you can always cut it off or remove it.
So now, how do we get your child to wear a protective sun hat?
Here are some ideas to consider:
- Young kids want to be like you ... just like you. So, one of the best ways to get a child to wear their sun hat is to wear one yourself. Day in and day out don't go outdoors without your sun protective hat and your child will get the message. And just think of all the benefits your own face will receive!
- Talk to other parents about the benefits of having their kids wear a hat. Make wearing a hat the "IN" thing to do. When everyone else is doing it, arguments often vanish.