Doctors say 80 percent of harmful sun exposure happens before age 18, and that it only takes two really bad sunburns to increase oneâ€™s chances of developing skin cancer later in life. (And yeah, weâ€™re wincing as we recall our teenage days, slathering on tanning butter. You too?)
Now, weâ€™ve seen toddler-sized, itty-bitty, polka-dotted bikinis in stores â€“ and our colleagues at the Arizona Republic say they actually spotted string bikinis for 1-year-olds â€“ but weâ€™re relieved to report that more and more tots at our neighborhood pool have started wearing surf-style rash guards. These short-sleeved, lycra swim shirts block 97 percent of the UV rays, kinda like an SPF 150 sunscreen. If you’d like to follow suit, Body Glove, Oâ€™Neill and all the other surf and dive wear companies make them in adult and childrenâ€™s sizes. The superman suit pictured here is by SunSmart and comes with a towel cape ($35 for the whole ensemble, $25 for a long-sleeved shirt only, Dora the Explorer and Supergirl designs too).
– Jackie Burrell