Long sleeve rash guards are swim shirts that cover arms, chest and back, and are basically a fabric sunscreen.
Unless you have the skills to coax a slippery frog to strike a yoga pose for seven minutes, you do not possess the dexterity to handle the sunscreen application process of a youngster. Kids have innate defense mechanisms that cause them to contort their bodies and face away from mom’s sunscreen-filled hands, much like our eyes blink when something gets near them. Therefore, rash guards are essential to a mom’s sanity at the pool.
The American Melanoma Foundation lists some of the major benefits to wearing sun protective clothing like rash guards, including:
- Does not wash off
- Does not need to be reapplied
- Is long lasting – can be washed and dries quickly
- Has no known skin reactions from UV-absorbing compounds in the fabrics
- Is more reliable in protecting against sunburns
- Is a “rash guard” against surfboard and body-board rashes
- Saves money! The clothing actually reduces the need for expensive sunscreens and lotions and pays for itself quickly.
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We typically get a few plain rash guards – always long-sleeved – to put into the summer rotation. I like to buy basic ones that will match any swimsuit we grab. Buying tip: I always buy up at least one (if not two!) sizes – they are made to be tight-fitting, so the larger sizes still fit. Here are a few long sleeve rash guards I like for swimsuit season…
Long Sleeve Rash Guards for Girls
Color Block: Columbia on Zappos
Columbia’s rash guards are easy, basic, and simple and will match a variety of swim suit bottoms. Colors: Available in this pink, and also a pretty turquoise and a medium shade of blue. Pictured: raspberry pink Columbia rash guard.
Cute Ruffles & Patterns for Babies & Girls: Ruffle Butts
Ruffle Butts has the most adorable collection of swim wear for girls ages 3 months up to 8 years. And for the southern girls, monogramming is an option for all of their swimsuits! Colors: You’ll have a hard time deciding between the girly pinks, bright yellows, stripes, solids, and florals… the patterns and colors are all preppy perfection. Pictured: navy polka dot and stripes bathing suit.
Retro Baby: Hanna Andersson Baby Swim Collection
The only problem with Hanna Andersson’s swimwear collection is trying to decide which one to buy… the red retro floral? The ice cream with ruffles? They are all too cute to abandon in your shopping cart… pictured: ice cream baby rash guard.
Cheerful & Preppy Patterns: Hanna Andersson Girls Swim Collection
For the little ladies ages 18 months – 18 years old, Hanna offers plenty of beautiful long sleeve rash girl options for girls, but the simple stripes with the tiny floral detail around the collar are my favorite. Available in this cheerful yellow and also in sky blue and apple red. Pictured: yellow striped girls rash guard.
Long Sleeve Rash Guards for Boys
Columbia Color Block for Boys
This Columbia rash guard for boys is a simple style that can coordinate with lots of different swim trunks, and sizes start at 4 and go up to 20 years. It’s available in blue, green, and red. Pictured: blue Columbia rash guard.
Nice to Eat You
Old Navy has a few long sleeve rash guards for boys, and this one is humorous and plain enough to go with a variety of swim trunks… plus, it’s a shark fin, and every boy will think it’s cool. Pictured: Nice to Eat You Rash Guard.
Baby Boy Blue Swim Set
Old Navy has a few rash guards for baby boys up to 24 months – including this plain white rash guard with navy and white tie-died swim shorts.
Preppy Babies & Toddlers
Janie and Jack is my go-to shop for preppy kids attire. Their swimwear collection is no exception – it’s all classic and simple, perfect for the little boys who wear Sperry’s boat shoes in the sum-sum-summertime.