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Gear up the kids for safe fun in the summer sun

Laura Begley of Travel + Leisure Family magazine shares some ideas for clothing and accessories to help protect your kids from harmful sun rays.

Most parents rub sunscreen on their kids' exposed areas before heading out for a day in the sun. But new research says that may not be enough. Ultraviolet rays can penetrate most clothing, leaving behind unseen skin damage. So what's a parent to do? Laura Begley, style director at Travel + Leisure Family was invited to appear on “Today” to share some sun-friendly options your kids will actually wear. Here’s the list of items she mentioned on the show:

Keeping kids protected from the sun is one of parenthood's most daunting tasks. But with the latest summer gear, it's almost a day at the beach. Made of fabrics that are tightly woven or treated to increase their ultraviolet protection factor (UPF 50 is tops for clothes), these togs act as sun-blocking armor. So slip 'em on — and slather less:

  • Petit Patapon UPF-50 cotton t-shirt, $34
  • Sun-Togs baseball cap, $25
  • Cabana Life UPF-50 polo shirt, cotton tunic, and cotton skirt, $44-52
  • L.L. Bean UPF-50 quick-drying shirt, $28
  • Coolibar UPF-50 mesh-lined rayon hoodie, $30

Try chic new swimwear made of tightly woven fabric that comes with an UPF rating, similar to a sunblock rating. This cool-looking gear was pioneered by surf-loving Australians, in response to their country's high rate of skin cancer. Their motto is slip, slap, slide — for gear, sunblock, and sunglasses.

  • Sea Folly Girl UPF-50 swimsuit bottom (with top), $64
  • Tuga Sunwear UPF-50 board shorts, $26
  • Lands' End solid side-stripe cargo swim trunks, $22.50
  • Sun Busters UPF-50 board shorts, $25
  • Lands' End one-piece skirted halter swimsuit, $24.50

The latest beachwear trend is swim tops for boys and girls that are modeled after the rashguards surfers wear. These tops do the job of sunblock — no more scorched backs!

  • Tuga Sunwear Swim Outfit UPF-50, $50
  • Sun-Togs UPF-50+ protective swim suit, $44.95
  • Sun-Togs UPF-50+ child UV legionnaire hat, $21.95

Here are some sun accessories that will keep your child protected from head to toe:

  • Teeny Tiny Optics 100-percent UV-blocking sunglasses, $10
  • Speedo Goggles with UV coating, $14
  • Soleil Chic UPF-50 38-inch-wide parasol, $32
  • Teva Kids Proton II shoe, $25
  • Teva Kids Mush flip flop, $15
  • Teva Kids Spoiler 2 sandal, $45
  • Salt-Water ocean-proof sandals, $30