It’s close to that time of year when we pack away the pants and hoodies, stock up on shorts and dresses, and pull out the sunblock. We still have random rainy days in Oregon, but there has been a lot of sun lately. Our little family is currently preparing for a trip to Las Vegas, so sun safety is weighing heavily on our minds. I have been scouring Amazon and local stores for gear and have recently shown my kiddos a few videos about why sun safety is important so they will scowl at me a little less when it comes time to apply (and reapply!) sunblock. Here are some of the videos and accessories I’ve found to aid me in my quest for family sun safety. 

Videos-

YouTube is so helpful for explaining things to kiddos. Do the kids want to hear about sun safety from me or the minions from Despicable Me? I’m thinking of the minions. Here is a link to the minion’s sun safety campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxAsoBXmCJk.

These cute kids made a video called “Sun Heroes.” Their “mission” is to teach kids how to be safe in the sun. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CijOPVB_2mM.

This video is geared toward younger kiddos (two and up). It is a 4-minute sing-along explaining the importance of safety in the sun. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc2wE5dVx3Y.

These videos are not on YouTube; they are from a website called “Sun Safety for Kids.” The website also has other information on sun safety. Here is the link: https://www.sunsafetyforkids.org/videos/.

Local Accessories And Clothing- 

Okay, this is embarrassing to admit; I didn’t really know until a few years ago that there is actual clothing that protects skin from the sun! I thought sunblock/sunscreen was our only defense. Certain fabrics can deflect the sunlight and block it from reaching the skin. Columbia Sportswear has an awesome selection from the “Omni-Shade” brand. They offer tops, shorts, pants, and accessories. Here is a link to their section of sun-deflecting clothing. There are men, women, and kids’ sections: https://www.columbia.com/sunprotection/.

REI also has some great options for summer clothing that is safe in the sun. A huge variety of sun hats, sun guard gear, and even sun hoodies (never heard of them!) I also learned that they offer used goods and trade in gently used gear for REI gift cards. Very cool. Here is a link to their clothing related to sun safety: https://www.rei.com/search?q=sun+protective+clothing&ir=q%3Asun+protective+clothing&r=category%3Akids-clothing.

Patagonia offers sun-protection clothing for babies and kids. The statistic on the sun safety section of their website is impressive. It states: “Our 40-50+ UPF sun protective clothing blocks at least 97.5% of UV rays” (Patagonia Website). It looks like many tops, bottoms, and sun hats. Here is a link to their options: https://www.patagonia.com/shop/kids-sun-protection-clothing.

Sunblock And Sunscreen- 

Although the big chain stores like Target and Walmart offer endless sunblock options, there are a few great local options too. Here are some options that were created in Portland and are offered locally. 

Brush on Block

This company has a sunscreen that is contained inside a self-dispensing brush. It is resistant to sweat and water and protects against UVA and UVB rays. The two cool things about this product are 1) it uses natural ingredients rather than typical chemicals found in sunscreens and 2) it is easy to apply. The kids’ section of the website has a brush on sunblock for babies, toddlers, and kids for $25. Here is the link to the website: https://brushonblock.com/collections/kids.

Straight Up Eco

This company is based in Portland and offers an array of environmentally friendly products, including sunblock. Not only is it local, but 100% natural products that are “safe and waste-free.” Their “Reef Relief Tinted Sunblock” is SPF 50 and looks to be an amazing product. It is $15.99. It is noted that it is water-resistant for 90 minutes. The website doesn’t have a kids section, but I imagine their products are safe for kids because everything is vegan and all-natural ingredients. The sunblock is listed in their “Eco Protection” section. Here is the link: https://www.straightupeco.com/eco-protection.   

Portland Bee Balm

So, this SE Portland company doesn’t offer sunblock, but they have a beautiful product that is a sunscreen lip balm. The variations of the lip balm include Oregon Mint, Rose Garden, Unscented, and Solar Eclipse. They offer singles for $4, a 3-pack for $9, and larger packs. The best part is: the product is made from beeswax from Pacific Northwest hives. They are proud that their product is environmentally friendly and supports local beekeepers. Here is the link to their website: https://portlandbeebalm.com/.


Summer is approaching fast, and it’s good to be ready with sun safety gear. Sun reflective clothing, sunblock, and some explanatory videos will help kids to be ready to have safe fun in the sun. If you’re looking for further info, there are some great, informational websites out there: KidsHealth.org, CDC, Cancer.org, and WebMD are good places to start. Here are the links: 

KidsHealth.Org- https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sun-safety.html.

CDC website- https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm.

Cancer.org- https://www.cancer.org/healthy/be-safe-in-sun.html.

WebMD- https://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun-safety-tips.

Best of luck to you all in finding great local sun safety products and persuading your kiddos about the benefits of sun safety! 

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