Summer may be a little way off yet, but it’s never too early for a bit of shopping, right? (please say yes, please say yes)
I remember being quite horrified at the British attitude to sunbathing when I first moved here 15 years ago. At the first glimpse of blue sky tops and t-shirts were abandoned, and every square inch of beach, grass and parkland would be wedged with bodies rapidly turning lobster-red in the sun.
Sunburn was seen as a badge of honour, not the UV radiation burns they actually were, and deep tans – the skin’s natural defensive reaction to sun damage – admired.
While I confess to some serious sun-worshipping in my early teens, in New Zealand we saw a complete turnaround in the late-eighties. Skin cancer rates were soaring, and some pretty hard-hitting campaigns were brought in to encourage people Slip, Slop, Slap (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat).
Granted, the sun ‘Down Under’ is much stronger due to thinning of the ozone layer – you can literally burn in minutes – but it’s so important to always stay sun safe.
While I can’t take back all those hours I lay out in the sun competing with my cousin to get the deepest, darkest tan, I can make sure my girls are protected, and that they understand why it’s important to stay covered up.
PLATYPUS AUSTRALIA is an antipodean brand that specialises in making UV clothing and swimwear with a UPF50+ rating. UPF refers to how well the fabric prevents ultra violet radiation from reaching – and damaging – the skin. UPF50+ means that at least 97.5% of the rays are blocked, meeting the strict criteria of both the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and the British Standard for Ultraviolet Radiation.
My girls are also lucky, because modern UV clothing is actually pretty cool – unlike the baggy lycra tents from a few years ago. Check out the suits the girls were sent to try out – I LOVE the cool colours and funky geometric print of Big Sis’s zip up rash vest and shorts, and Lil Sis literally squealed with excitement when she saw hers was candy pink – her favourite colour – with a shell print on the bottoms.
We spend a lot of time hanging out in our back garden in summer, playing football (the girls and Daddy) reading books (me) and having barbecues (all of us). We’re always pretty strict with sun lotion, but these suits will bring us extra peace of mind when the sun’s at its strongest.
• UV clothing provided by www.platypusaustralia.com for the purpose of review