Best ever kids sun hat NZ

Sun Smart Kids

How to keep your child’s hat on their head this summer without stapling it on? As parents, we all know how important it is to protect our children from the dangers of UV radiation. We also know that often blood, sweat, and tears are shed (by you) in the battle to get your child to wear their hat when they are out in the sun.

Sometimes, it can feel like dressing an eel, trying to clothe your small human. And while we’re the ultimate believer when it comes to picking your parenting battles, the consequences of not being sun smart in New Zealand can be dire, so here are our top tips for keeping your child’s hat where it’s supposed to be.

Buy a hat with a strap

Sometimes the most obvious solution actually works. Especially for toddlers, buying a hat that is difficult for them to wrench off can make your job a whole lot easier.

Many hat models come with ties or straps, but make sure yours has a strap that contains a breakaway safety feature so the strap will break if it gets caught on something.

Wear a hat yourself

Kids are copycats. This trait is sometimes to our detriment - like repeating a colourful new word they've heard up in front of the grandparents. However, when it comes to your battle for sun protection, you can harness their copycat tendencies to your advantage. Modeling sun-safe behaviour sets the tone that you want them to replicate.

Be consistent

The battle to get your kid to wear a hat becomes easier when they understand they will be wearing a hat every time they go outside. website recommends wearing a hat every time you go outside from September to April. And don’t forget, even on cloudy days, 80% of that pesky UV radiation still makes it through the clouds.

Choose a hat that fits well and is comfortable for them to wear

Adults can tolerate uncomfortable clothing within reason (those heels are so pretty...) Children, not so much.

Hats are no exception. When choosing a hat for your child, make sure it can be easily adjusted to fit your child’s head. Pick a fabric that breathes well, without being too itchy or irritating, and has features like ventilation panels for comfort.

Not all hats are created equal - as with sunscreen, fabric provides different levels of sun protection. UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Fabric) is a measure of how effectively the fabric blocks UV radiation, so look for a hat that is rated UPF50+.

Let them choose

Let’s face it, childhood can be a struggle to assert autonomy. One way to get kids to buy in to their own sun protection is to offer a choice. The key here is to never give open-ended choices. You can wear the blue hat or the green hat (because either way you're wearing a hat).

Make it worth their while

If nothing else works, you can always resort to some good old-fashioned bribery…. (aka incentivised parenting). This is where your child gets rewarded for keeping their hat on their head. You don’t have to provide big rewards, something small will usually do the trick.

If you have to go down this path, look on the bright side – at least they are learning valuable lessons about capitalism at the same time as staying sun-safe!

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