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It is estimated that one severe sunburn during childhood can double one's chance for developing skin cancer later in life. With that in mind, coupled with the knowledge that children have very sensitive skin, it is best to dress them in sun protective swimwear.
Sun protective shirts and suits are available in short and long sleeves. They are formfitting so it won't be difficult for your child to move through the water. Specially designed shirts and bathing suits that block out UV rays are over three times as efficient as a regular t-shirt. Also, it is best to use sun protective clothing rather than sunscreen on babies, as sunscreen contains a lot of chemicals and is easily smeared into the eyes.