The Savvy Mom's Guide to Sun Safety
Exposed! The 6 most common sun myths
More sun-safety facts
Think that T-shirt protects your kid from UV rays? Think again. A white T-shirt has an SPF of about 7, but once it gets wet, SPF drops down to about 3, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
"In general, the easiest way to test if a fabric can protect your skin is to hold it up to the light -- if you can see through it, then UV radiation can penetrate it," says Dr. Weinstock. This means you need to apply sunscreen underneath the clothes (and don't forget wide-brimmed hats to shield the face and eyes). Also consider using a laundry aid such as SunGuard, which blocks about 96 percent of UV rays when washed into regular clothes.
You might also try some treated SPF clothing. A few of our favorites: Cabana Life
Is your child at risk?
Between 1973 and 2001, childhood melanoma cases increased almost 3 percent every year. The good news is that melanoma in kids is still rare: In children under 10, the incidence is one in a million. "There's no need to be alarmed by every skin imperfection in your child, but if you have a family history, your child is fair and/or has a lot of moles, make sure she gets skin exams with a dermatologist," says Susan Chon, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.