Why we need to forget our childhoods, when it comes to sun protection

The Rance Boys in the 70s

The Glorious 70s!

I remember as a child in the 1970’s spending many a carefree day playing with my elder brother in the glorious Australian sun. We’d recently arrived in Sydney from the UK. My mother would do her best to lather us in sunscreen before going to the beach or the pool, but it was more to avoid getting sore and sunburnt rather than any concern about longer health and welfare. “Slip, Slop, Slap” was slowly catching on, but awareness of the longer-term risks of sun exposure, both to your health as well as your youthful looks, was still a low priority. Our goal was to get a “healthy” suntan and to play outdoors.

Avoiding sunburn has long term impact.

Now as a father of three boys aged 7, 9 and 10 living in Maroubra, Sydney, attitudes have significantly changed. Hats are compulsory at school if you want to play outside, and visiting the beach between 11am and 2pm is increasingly discouraged. Still, until recently, I was unaware of just how serious the risks of sun damage as a child are for us in later life. For example, recent research shows that experiencing a blistering sunburn 5 times or more before the age of 18 impacts the DNA, and increases the risk of melanoma by 80% in later life. It’s what we do now to protect our children which counts in the long term.

Crazy Arms – a better alternative to sunscreen.

To do a better job of protecting our kids while encouraging them to play outdoors (and not become victims of the screen-generation), we created Crazy Arms sun protective sleeves. When kids are wearing shorts and a t-shirt, hats protect the 15% of exposed skin on our face, which is great, but exposed arms represent almost 30%. Applying sun lotion can do the job, but as any parents know, it’s another task that can lead to family stress every morning. Sun lotion then needs to be reapplied – consistently – every few hours, which research shows few of us get right.

People don’t like wearing long sleeve shirts in summer, particularly active kids playing sports or running about. Slipping on some comfortable, fun, UPF 50+ sun sleeves before going outdoors, provides an easy alternative. It also reduces the amount of sunscreen chemicals absorbed into the skin, or that leak harmfully into our oceans.

Crazy Arms are dress up with a purpose, and feedback so far is that kids and parents are loving them.

Jason Rance
Co-Founder, Crazy Arms Clothing

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