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posted: 6/16/2013 6:00 AM

Protect your kids from those rays in more ways than one

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  • Floppy Hat with removable flower by Flap Happy, UPF 50+, $26-$30, M and Em's, 460 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn. "They're great hats. The brim is larger and goes all the way around the whole hat. Plus it protects the neck; people forget about the back of the neck," says Kim Fuller, owner of M and Em's mom and baby boutique in Glen Ellyn.

      Floppy Hat with removable flower by Flap Happy, UPF 50+, $26-$30, M and Em's, 460 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn. "They're great hats. The brim is larger and goes all the way around the whole hat. Plus it protects the neck; people forget about the back of the neck," says Kim Fuller, owner of M and Em's mom and baby boutique in Glen Ellyn.

  • Use the Vertical Rugby Stripe Beach Towel, $17.40, Lands' End stores and landsend.com, to lay out or dry off. This versatile towel measures at 6 feet and offers UPF +50 UV protection.

      Use the Vertical Rugby Stripe Beach Towel, $17.40, Lands' End stores and landsend.com, to lay out or dry off. This versatile towel measures at 6 feet and offers UPF +50 UV protection.

  • A Cherokee Boys' Rashguard, $12.99, Target, paired with up & up Kids' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Spray, $5.79, Target, will keep him fresh, sun-protected and moving freely.

      A Cherokee Boys' Rashguard, $12.99, Target, paired with up & up Kids' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Spray, $5.79, Target, will keep him fresh, sun-protected and moving freely.

  • REI Whirligig Skorts for girls. $17.19, REI stores and rei.com.Cute and sun-conscious, these skirted shorts are made of a quick-drying, moisture-wicking stretch fabric that provides UPF 50+ sun protection.

      REI Whirligig Skorts for girls. $17.19, REI stores and rei.com.Cute and sun-conscious, these skirted shorts are made of a quick-drying, moisture-wicking stretch fabric that provides UPF 50+ sun protection.

  • up & up Kids' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Spray, $5.79, Target, paired with a Cherokee Boys' Rashguard, $12.99, Target, will keep him fresh, sun-protected and moving freely.

      up & up Kids' Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Spray, $5.79, Target, paired with a Cherokee Boys' Rashguard, $12.99, Target, will keep him fresh, sun-protected and moving freely.

  • Julbo Solan Sunglasses, $40-$50, various retailers (find on $START_URL$julbousa.com;http://www.julbousa.com$STOP_URL$), keeps peepers safe from the sun. The wraparound-designed specs are durable, shock-resistant and offer 100 percent protection against UVA, B and C radiation.

      Julbo Solan Sunglasses, $40-$50, various retailers (find on $START_URL$julbousa.com;http://www.julbousa.com$STOP_URL$), keeps peepers safe from the sun. The wraparound-designed specs are durable, shock-resistant and offer 100 percent protection against UVA, B and C radiation.

  • REI Sea Squirt Board Shorts for toddler boys, $13.19, REI stores and rei.com. These vibrant swim trunks are made of quick-drying polyester and provide UPF 50+ sun protection.

      REI Sea Squirt Board Shorts for toddler boys, $13.19, REI stores and rei.com. These vibrant swim trunks are made of quick-drying polyester and provide UPF 50+ sun protection.

 
By Lisa Jones Townsel

After a cold winter and chilly spring, it's great to finally shake off heavy duds in exchange for lighter ones. But before you -- or the kids -- do, consider sporting your arsenal of sun protective gear.

Sun protection doesn't merely come in a can or bottle anymore. You can also build up your defense against the sun's harmful rays by selecting clothing, caps and even towels, with built-in sun protection.

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According to outdoor giant Recreational Equipment Inc. (better known as REI), all clothing items provide some protection, but the most effective offer an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 15 to 50+.

So enjoy the sun and protect yourself against it at the same time with a few of these fashionably fun finds.

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