When I was growing up, my cousin and I used to have competitions to see who could get the darkest tan.
We spent our entire school holidays lying in the sun, slathered in baby oil. We treated it like a professional sport; careful to lie so the sun shone directly on our crisping skin, to avoid that horror of all horrors: the uneven tan.
Then the 80s arrived, and a big hole opened up in the protective ozone layer, right smack over the top of New Zealand. So now we weren't just catching some rays, we were essentially blasting ourselves with radiation from outer space. And that stuff could burn you, literally, in minutes.
Us Kiwi (and Aussie) folk had to wise up pretty quickly about the dangers. From the late-80s we had it constantly drummed into us to Slip, Slop, Slap: Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen, and Slap on a hat.
So it was a bit of a shock for me to arrive in London in the summer of 2001, to find people walking around, half-naked, and flaming red, with peeling shoulders, and first-degree burns.
In the 12 years since, thankfully, attitudes have improved immeasurably, and schools have introduced measures such as compulsory sun hats.
Being a bit of a Sun Safety nerd, I was excited to find these SUNUVA UV rash vests. Made from breathable, quick-dry material, they provide a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 50, and block out 97 percent of damaging UVA and UVB rays.
They're practical, and comfortable, and they look fab too! Big Sis has the Heart design (top) while Lil Sis has one with the cute Hummingbird (above), both £36.
I just love the bright colours, and funky designs, and the girls can't wait to wear them. Of course they'll still need to wear sunscreen on exposed skin (and hats too) but these vests will help my girls stay stylishly safe this summer.
Bring on the sun!
• the UV vests were provided for review