Sun-Protection Clothing

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sun-protection swimsuits for kids & babies

May 2007

The recommendations on the website are a bit old, so please add some recent experience: Where to buy inexpensive sun-protection swimsuits for kids and babies? Ideally locally so we could try them on? Any brands that are a particularly good value (quality for $)? Our 4 yo girl is wearing anything from size 5-7, and our 12 mo boy will probably be a size 18m when he'll be in sun the most. I'll also post on Marketplace for used ones... Thanks! Making waves

I saw some inexpensive sun-protective swimsuits advertised at Longs Drugs recently, but haven't tried them. Although they aren't cheap, $50 and up, I've had good experience ordering kid (and adult) sun-protective suits from, and The sizing charts have been accurate, and their return policies good. Heather

Check Target - I thought I saw some there for less than $10! I think Old Navy might have some, too. Rockridge Kids has suits for the little one, with swim diaper included, for about $25. has long-sleeved swim shirts for about $20, at least $10 less than other ones I found online. Just got ours so hard to tell how the quality is so far. Pale Mom

Check out this website for sun-protection swimwear. I have a couple of their things and they are nice: - Laura

Worried about 12 month old in Mexico

March 2003

I'm taking my 12 month old to Mexico soon. I'm worried about her being out in the sun...however, I don't want to stay inside all day either. How do I protect her eyes from the sun bouncing off rays from the beach? Should I buy natural sunscreen or buy the regular kind? Fill me in if I'm missing anything. Amy

We've taken our sun to Mexico many times and he is very fair. We bought a 100% protective sunsuit from Solartex. Just go to And we used a hat with the ear/neck protection plus kid's sunscreen. He hasn't burned yet. If you only need this protection for just this trip and don't want to spend the money, you could borrow ours. Just email me! Karen

SunSafe Swimsuit for a 1 year old

December 2001

We will be going to Hawaii in January and I need to purchase a bathing suit for my one year old daughter. Ideally, I would like to find a kind of wetsuit that will cover her whole body because she is very fair. Another option I am considering is a bathing suit with a flotation device in it. Any suggestions on what kind of bathing suit to get and where to get it are much appreciated. Thanks!! Madeleine

I looked around for lycra suits for my 3 fair skinned children last spring. I found an Australian company on the web, which had chlorine resistant suits at a very reasonable price. I ordered one each for my two younger kids (3 and 1 at the time) and I was very pleased them. Even with the cost of shipping from Australia, the cost was less than if I had ordered suits on line from some of the companies that sell suits in the U.S. Here's the website: As far as finding something in a local store, I didn't have any luck. Charlotte

I bought a full (nylon?) bodysuit for my daughter last summer from a Canadian company called Solarnix. The website is The suits are pretty expensive, but just what I was looking for - full protection, comfortable, convenient (diaper-changing zipper), and my daughter seemed to like wearing hers a lot. Plus it is cute... Lisa

LL Bean used to sell, and perhaps still sells, a zippable wetsuit-style Lycra bathing suit that covers thighs to elbows. We used it happily on our blondey-blonde 18-mo-old when we spent the summer in Hawaii. It's great sun protection and easy to get a wriggly child into, wet or dry.

I recommend against any kind of swimsuit that includes a float, especially as kids near the age of swimming on their own--this is a great way to teach your kid (wrongly) that he in fact knows how to swim, and can just jump in the water any old time he pleases. As a lifeguard I used to regularly pull out (very surprised-looking) kids who had arrived at the pool a millisecond before the parents and jumped in without floaties (or the special suit, or whatever); the routine is, they sink straight to the bottom and then you deliver them sobbing and dripping to the (very shocked and upset) parents. vamail

Wetsuit type swimsuits for kids?


I was planning to order one of the anti-UV sunsuits Biobottoms sold and now that they've gone out of business I have no idea where to buy a similar one. The ones they had came in both one and two piece configurations and were made of some kind of lycralike fabric that provided full UV protection. They looked kind of like a little half-wetsuit. What I liked about them was that unlike the ones offered by One Step Ahead or Sun Precautions (the places recommended on the website), they were shorts and T-shirts rather than long-sleeved, but were still close-fitting enough to wear comfortably in the water. Any ideas where to find such a thing? Dashka

UV Suits - I have ordered zip up wetsuit type swimsuits for my two children from a catalog company called CWD kids. They are on the web, too - They have short sleeves and go halfway down the thigh, are lightweight and dry quickly. The colors are snazzy so both of my boys, 4 & 8, don't mind wearing them. I still have to apply sunscreen to their exposed faces, necks, arms and legs, but with the majority of their body covered, it's great for a day at the beach. Georgz

Try or call them for a brochure about SunSafe sun protective swimwear toll free anytime at 877- FunSuit (877) 386-7848 Richa

SunSafe has both one and two piece suits. They are mail order at 1-877-786-7233, Deborah

For UV suits try Ellern

You might try the One Step Ahead catalog (their web site is I bought a UV suit from them last year. Sara

We received a 100% UV protection Shark Suit as a gift which has been great. It's one piece but with short sleeves and pants. I've seen them if catalogs. If I can find it or find out where it was purchased I will let you know. It's made in Australia. Elizabeth

I just ordered a suit online from: Friends of mine have ordered suits they like from Austrailia at: We don't have it yet, so I can't vouch for the quality! Also, LL Bean has a UV windbreaker-type coverall with hood, and they also sell UV jackets. Again, this order is on it's way. Jenne

Sun protection clothing for young children


I also have very fair children. I'm not certain what you mean by sun protection clothing, but we've always been careful to have our sons wear long sleeve t-shirts and those Flap Happy sun hats (even in the water). We also apply a liberal coat of a waterproof SPF 45 sunscreen multiple times in a given day. The trick with sunscreen is making sure to apply it at least 20 minutes before they are exposed to any sun. Finally, we seek the shady spots by any pool or beach whenever possible. Have fun!

I'm pretty sure I saw some special anti-sun outfits in a One Step Ahead catalog not long ago. Don't have their number, but it should be getable at (800) 555-1212 or from the Web. Meg

there is a catalog called sunprecautions: solutions for sun sensitive and sun sensible people.1800-882-7860. they're located in everett, washington. they have a kids' section including a toddler coverall (44.95), pants, long sleeved shirts, hats and a one piece long sleeved, long legged swim suit. their stuff is kind of pricey but it works and it's breathable. my partner who is very fair has an active shirt from this company, that he is happy with. i also think bio bottoms may carry a few sun protective items. they have an 800 number. Susan

Biobottoms Catalog sells SPF rated clothing, including bathing suits, windbreakers, hats, and suits that look like lightweight wetsuits, all in kids sizes.

I brought my son a hat and shirt from Sun Precautions. Their web address is Our you can call them at 800-882-7860. Their items are very soft and most are washable. Dawn

Re the discussion on special clothing that shields from sun rays, Consumer Reports did an article on these clothing items. They don't do any better than a regular t-shirt at screening out harmful sun rays, or rather, a regular t-shirt does just as good a job. It was an interesting article, worth seeking out at the library. Kimberly