Broad brimmed and bucket hats provide the best sun protection for the face, head, ears and neck. Legionnaire hats also provide good UV protection. Baseball caps do not protect the face, head, ears and neck. A good sun protective hat will protect your eyes too.
Choosing your hat
When choosing your hat, remember:
- a hat should shade your face, head, ears and neck
- a broad brimmed hat should have a brim of at least 7.5 cm
- a bucket hat should have a deep crown, angled brim of at least 6 cm and sit low on the head
- legionnaire hats should have a flap that covers the neck and overlaps at the sides of the front peak
- use a brim attachment or legionnaire cover if wearing a hardhat or helmet.
- the quality of sun protection offered depends on the type of fabric – a tighter fabric structure is best.
- A fabric with UPF15 offers good protection while one that is UPF50 offers excellent protection. Even if the fabric is excellent, make sure the hat’s overall design is effective too.
- a hat should provide ventilation and be comfortable to wear (especially if it is to be used during physical activity or in warmer weather).
Hats for babies and toddlers
When choosing a hat for young children, consider the size and comfort, the amount of shade it provides and if it will obstruct vision or hearing.
Many babies and toddlers do not like to wear hats. Persistence is needed to teach them that a hat is part of their outside routine. For babies, choose a design such as a soft legionnaire hat that will crumple easily when they put their head down.
Hats that can be adjusted at the crown or can be tied at the front to help secure it on a child’s head are best. If the hat is secured with a long strap and toggle, ensure it has a safety snap, place the strap at the back of their head or trim the length so it doesn’t become a choking hazard.