Every summer, families everywhere set off to enjoy fun-filled days soaking in the warm, sunny weather. While staying cool and having fun is on at the top of your child’s priority list, we know that avoiding sunburns is more than likely number one on yours.
As you know, it is so important to avoid sunburns because just one serious sunburn can potentially double your child’s chances of getting melanoma, better known as skin cancer, later in life.
While sunscreen is a well-known must have for days spent exploring the outdoors, hats are sunscreen’s lesser-known yet equally important counterpart. There are many different options, but the best sun hats for kids are made with lightweight materials treated with chemicals to make them UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 30 or higher, and have wide brims to cast shade over your child’s face, ears and neck.
It is recommended that you choose hats, as well as other clothing, that are darker in color because they tend to soak up the UV rays from the sun, whereas lighter colors do little to protect your skin from those harmful rays.
Hats are also a great way to protect your little one’s eyes when she is too young to wear sunglasses.
With so many options on the market today, it’s not always easy to know which are the best sun hats for kids, so we took an in-depth look at the main contenders and came up with five top picks.
They are all great options, so even if you choose one of the following based simply on how it looks, you can be confident that you have made a great choice and that your little one’s head, face, eyes and ears will be protected very well.
Sun Hats for Kids
Features we love
Buy it now
Kids’ Safari Sun Hat
- Approved by the Melanoma International Foundation
N’Ice Caps Unisex Kids’ Sun Hat
i.play Baby & Toddler Girls’ Sun Hat
- UPF 50+ fabric
Sunday Afternoons Unisex
- Fits kids ages 2 to 5
Tropic Kid’s Sun Hat
- Neck flap and wide brim
And now, for the full scoop on our favorites...
This kids’ hat is really unique in that the shark pattern located on the brim actually gets brighter when in direct sunlight, acting as a reminder to parents to reapply sunscreen. We'll take all the help we can when it comes to protecting our children from a sunburn.
This hat is made with an ultra-protective, micro-fiber material that is UPF 50+, which blocks out 99% of UV rays and is approved by the Melanoma International Foundation.
There are also breathable, mesh vents built in to keep your child’s head cool and help the hat to dry quickly in very likely chance it gets wet.
Safari made this hat with a Velcro chin strap and an adjustable, bungee-type cord that ensures a great fit for children from the age of 3 to 10 years old, meaning your child could get a lot of use out of it, wearing it for several summers.
The shark pattern on the brim getting brighter in direct sunlight is simply genius. Not only is it a great reminder to reapply sunscreen, but it also makes this hat pretty fun for the child wearing it.
This Unisex sun hat by N’Ice Caps is reversible and available in a multitude of fun colors. It comes in sizes from 6 months to teen/adult, thanks to the locking, adjustable draw cord, which ensures comfort within 3 sizes of the recommended age group.
This hat has elastic, shoestring-like ties, and larger sizes also include clips to help it stay on.
It's made of 100% cotton and has side air holes to keep your littles one’s head cool even on the hottest summer days. It is designed in the USA and has been tested and approved via CPSIA standards.
The fact this this hat is designed to fit up to three sizes, larger or smaller, than the recommended age group in simply wonderful. Children grow so fast, so purchasing a seasonal product that will only fit for one year can be frustrating. This hat completely eliminates that problem.
This adorable, lightweight sun hat by i.play comes in a variety of beautiful, girly colors and prints.
It has a wide brim that is perfect for keeping your little girl’s face, sensitive eyes and neck protected from harmful UV rays.
It's made with UPF 50+ micro-fiber and has a moisture wicking liner to keep your baby girl’s head dry and cool.
This hat is very durable, ensuring two or more summers of use and it is machine washable, which is definitely a must for baby hats.
The wick-away lining in this sun hat is essential for toddlers and babies alike. Keeping a little one cool and comfortable is the best way to make sure they're able to enjoy their outdoor playtime. We also have to mention that choosing just one of the many super cute prints and colors will be the only challenging part about purchasing this hat.
If ever there was a hat made for kid who loves the outdoors, this is it.
In addition to being UPF 50+, this hat is also water repellent and stain resistant. A mother’s dream come true!
It fits children 2 – 5 years old and, like others, has an adjustable strap so it fits all those little heads very well.
This hat is 100% nylon, with breathable mesh vents and has a brim that is 2.5 – 4 inches wide, depending on size, with a full 5.5-inch neck veil that protects the back of your little one’s neck very well.
The brim also has a built in floatable, foam core so it will be easy find if your kid rips it off in the pool or lake.
The full 5.5-inch neck veil really sets this hat apart from others and is absolutely essential for kids with extra sensitive skin. The back of the neck is a hotspot when spending a lengthy amount of time out in the sun, so having that extra protection is wonderful.
This adjustable hat is a great fit for kids ages 4 – 8 with an 18-20” head circumference, and it fits perfectly even when it gets wet.
The 100% polyester material is lightweight and vented so your child can run and play without his head getting sweaty and uncomfortable.
Tropic Kid’s is another brand that has gone the extra mile to include the longer neck flap along with the already wide brim to keep your child’s face, ears and neck protected from harmful UV rays.
Great coverage is completely necessary when choosing one of the best sun hats for kids.
Considering that sun and water almost always go hand-in-hand during the summer months, it's extremely important for kids’ hats to stay on even when they get wet. This hat, which is made of 100% polyester, makes that possible. Also, the extra neck flap takes this hat up a notch on our awesome scale.
Having your little one wear a hat when she's out in the sun is a great idea, not only to protect her sensitive skin and eyes, but also to get her in the habit of protecting her skin from the harmful UV rays as she gets older.
All of these hats are great options and can easily be considered the best sun hats for kids.
The one thing that they all have in common is that they are all UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 50+, so you can be confident that your child’s head will absolutely be protected.
Don’t forget to set a good example for your children by wearing sunglasses and hats to protect yourselves from those pesky UV rays, too!
Featured image: Mario Antonio Pena Zapateria
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