Review of Little Leaves protective clothing
by Anne Siller
Earlier this summer, there was a spot on the news that stopped me in my tracks. The anchor was talking about a new study that determined if you had more than five blistering sunburns as a teenager, you were 80% more likely to have melanoma as an adult. I flashed back to my 13-year-old self, lying by the pool like a piece of flounder from Whole Foods, all slicked up with oil. What was I thinking? Well, what is any kid thinking? They don’t understand why the sun can pose a danger. I'm an oncology nurse, so I see this from the 40-years-down-the-road perspective. The damaging effects of the sun are cumulative. Simply put, there is no reset button on their skin.
And so commences the struggle of the slather. It goes on every day in my house full of redheads. Before they walk out the door, everyone gets greased up with a generous helping of sunscreen whether they like it or not. But I also have another line of defense: Sun Protective Clothing from Little Leaves.
Little Leaves is a company started by a pediatrician and a dermatologist who, as both parents and health practitioners, had concerns about the long-term health risks caused by too much sun exposure as a child. And thus, Little Leaves was born.
Little Leaves offers durable, comfortable clothing that boasts an SPF of 50. The sun protection comes from the special weave and weight of the fabric that serve to block out the sun’s rays. The clothes are chemical and irritant-free, tag-less, made of a blend of bamboo/spandex/cotton which feels soft and breathable. And the clothese are very cute. Cannot forget cute. The sun protection never wears out, either.
Sun protective clothing isn’t meant to replace sun block, but rather, to be used along right along with it. Normal clothes don’t really cut it. That t-shirt I put on my youngest while she was out of the pool and playing in the sand last summer? It probably has an SPF of 5. Now she’s in a Little Leaves tee and I know she is covered. It doesn’t eliminate the struggle of the slather. I still need to apply sunscreen generously and regularly, but I want to do everything I can to prevent any skin damage. There is no reset button.
Anne Siller is editor of KidsOutAndAbout Westchester, and the mom of three young redheads.