Slap on a hat

The skin on your face, ears and neck is much thinner and more sensitive to UV damage. Choose a hat that provides good shade to your face, head, neck and ears.

For the best protection during the daily sun protection times, use all five SunSmart steps – clothing, sunscreen, a broad-brimmed hat, shade and sunglasses.

When choosing your hat:

  • look for a wide brim (at least 7.5 cm brim for adults)
    bucket (should have a deep crown, angled brim of at least 6 cm and sit low on the head)
    legionnaire (should have a flap that covers the neck and overlaps at the sides of the front peak)
  • check the material: does it let a lot of light through or does it provide dark shade? A fabric with UPF 15 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.
  • make sure it is cool and comfortable.

Baseball caps are not a good option for everyday sun protection because they only protect your scalp and forehead. However, they can be good to wear during active recreation, when a broad-brimmed hat may be less practical.

Use a brim attachment or legionnaire cover if wearing a hardhat or helmet.

Hats for babies and toddlers

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. It is also important the adults around them role-model good sun protection behaviour by wearing their hats too.

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, make sure 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.

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Information about using hats to protect your skin from UV exposure and damage.
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