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Gear Guy

What can I do to protect my kids from sun and bugs?

My kids are very sensitive to sun and mosquito bites. Can you recommend any sun-protective clothing, and have you heard of clothing that protects from mosquitoes? They are seven and 12, and we live in a hot, humid environment. Beth

A: As a matter of fact, Beth, there is a line of bug-repellent clothing. It's the very clever Buzz Off line from Ex Officio, just hitting the market in substantial numbers this year. The Buzz Off stuff is made with a fabric that is impregnated with permethrin, a synthetic version of a natural insecticide found in certain plants. The breakthrough that Ex Officio made was to create a way to bond the permethrin to the fabric, so it can endure repeated washings without losing effectiveness (Ex Officio claims it holds up through 25 launderings—but don't dry-clean the stuff). As a bonus, this line of clothing also has an SPF rating of 30.

Long-Sleeve Crew

Ex Officio makes a pretty wide range of children's clothing with Buzz Off. Examples: A two-tone long-sleeve crew ($42; and convertible pants with zip-off legs ($48). Which, I admit, is a little pricey for two kids who will outgrow it all in one summer.

Budget considerations aside, you might still find that a little insect repellent is helpful, especially on exposed ankles or necks. However, the Buzz Off clothing gives you a real head start on battling summer's perennial double scourge of sunburn and bugs.

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Filed To: Clothing and Apparel
Lead Photo: courtesy, Ex Officio