Covering Keiki from the Hawaiian Sun

The tender skin of children must be protected from the sun when visiting Hawaii. That is much easier with swim shirts, also called rashies, that provide UV protection. Throwing on the shirt is faster than rubbing or even spraying sun screen on wiggly keiki eager to play.

When my daughter and granddaughter visited recently, we bought beach toys and slippers but didn’t think of getting rashies since they were only here for a few days. We relied on sunscreen, as they do at home on the mainland. The first day, we missed a streak of flesh that was bright red by the next morning. That really wasn’t too surprising, as Keiki Bella was jumping up and down at the time, anxious to get to the beach.

The next morning we went to the hotel pool, which provided some shaded swimming. A young child whose family was visiting from Europe watched from the door of her pool-side room for a few minutes before joining Bella in the pool. She looked as though she had just tumbled out of bed and into her swimsuit, but she was wearing a rashie that she was able to put on by herself. Her grandfather came out with coffee and a paper to watch from the lounge chair. Neither of them had to slather on lotion, or carry along a bottle of lotion to reapply after being in the water.

It is still necessary to use sunscreen on the face, unless you’re wearing a hat all the time, but that can be accomplished with a small tube of lotion small enough to fit in a pocket. Packing a sun shirt takes very little space and isn’t subject to the limitation on liquids in carry-on bags. While I advocate packing as little as possible, it probably is a good idea to get sun shirts for children before your trip. As we discovered in our search for children’s slippers, the shops in Waikiki carry primarily adult sizes. I happened upon children’s sun shirts on Amazon recently for a very reasonable price, so even if you live in an area where beach wear is not sold year-round, you should be able to locate them if you plan ahead.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher