Hats to protect yourself
Make a hat part of your everyday wardrobe.
Choosing the right hat can be tricky as some designs do not offer enough sun protection.
Which type of hat?
Hats that provide good shade to the face, back of the neck and ears when outdoors are recommended. Caps and visors are not recommended as they don’t provide protection for the face, ears and neck – places where skin cancers are often found.
Broad brimmed hat
Broad brimmed hats should have a brim of at least 7.5 centimetres wide. A broad brimmed hat that provides good shade can considerably reduce the exposure of UVR to the face. The brim width for children under 10 years should be proportional to the size of the child’s head, and ensure that their face is well shaded.
Legionnaire style hats should have a flap that covers the neck and meets the sides of the front peak to provide protection to the side of the face.
Bucket or surfie style hats should have a deep crown and sit low on the head. The angled brim should be at least 6 centimetres and provide the face, neck and ears with plenty of protection from the sun. The brim width on bucket hats for pre-school aged children should be proportional to the size of the child’s head, ensuring that their face is sufficiently shaded (minimum of 5 centimetres as a rough guide). Bucket hats may impede peripheral vision; therefore safety aspects need to be taken into consideration.
If selecting a hat style for an early childhood or school setting we encourage you to consult widely with students, staff and parents before introducing one of the three hat styles recommended by Cancer Council Queensland.
Here are some simple steps which can guide hat choice:
- good sun protection
- fashion trends
- practicalities (for example, which hat is safe for sport)
Ventilation should also be a consideration if the hat is to be used during physical activity or warmer weather.
Other sun protection
As well as wearing a sun protective hat, use other forms of sun protection practices:
- stay out of the sun during peak UVR times
- seek shade when outdoors
- wear sun protective clothing and sunglasses
- use sunscreen.
- Personal sun protection (Cancer Council Queensland) PDF, 2.03 MB
For schools and early childhood settings
- SunSmart Uniforms: Hats for Schools and Early Childhood settings (Cancer Council Queensland) PDF
- SunSmart Uniforms: Clothing and Hats for Schools and Early Childhood settings (Cancer Council Queensland) PDF