Energy produced by the sun is released in different wavelengths. Some of them are visible to the human eyes, and are seen in rainbow colors, while some others are not. Red has the longest wavelength, and violet has the shortest wavelength. These shorter waves are called Ultraviolet rays. Apart from some animals, birds and insects, UV rays are not visible to the human eyes. Generally, these rays are progressively filtered as they pass through the atmosphere, and are absorbed by the ozone layer, but some of the UV rays do reach the earth. These rays are short enough to break the chemical bonds in the skins tissue. When bare skin is exposed to this light, the skin will either burn or become tan. Tanning causes a grayish brown discoloration of the skin.



Over exposure to UV rays will cause wrinkles, weaken skins elasticity and cause excessive thickening or thinning. It also affects the eyes. Children are more exposed to risk, as they have thin skin and under developed melanin. They are in a dynamic state of growth and therefore are more susceptible to these kinds of environmental threats. They may suffer retinal injury, and heat stroke. As they have less melanin in their skin, they are more prone to sunburns. A survey states that 80 percent of a persons exposure to UV rays in his entire lifetime occurs before the age of 18. Longer exposure will make the child feel tired and irritable. An adult who is staying outdoors with the child might not even realise that the child is under danger. Research scientists have now come with a new device which would alert, when the child is exposed to sunlight.


Researchers in Montreal have designed a high-tech patch, which will be embedded in childrens clothing. This will give sun alert by changing color, when the child wearing the garment is exposed to a dangerous level of ultraviolet light. These patches are similar in the size of a nickel. They are sewn into the garments of the child like sun hats, shirts etc. It contains photo sensitive and heat sensitive ink. The patch will change its color and give alert to the parent once the heat level exceeds the limit. Much care is taken in the formulation of this ink applied in the patch, so as to make it phthalate free, a substance which can be toxic for children. A special coating is also applied in the patch, so that the garment does not react to chlorine while washing.


The garments are manufactured in China, and the patches are made in Quebec. They are then sent to Asia to get embedded in the clothing. Currently these clothes are selling like hot cakes in the market. Wal-Mart is selling the product in Canada. Other retail giants like Marks and Spencer, and Mothercare in Britain are exploring their options. These garments are sold at a nominal profit margin of 21 percent.


Childrens skin is very sensitive and will take only seconds to get scalded or sunburned. This garment will not solve the problem that UV rays will create. It only gives an alert to the parent that their child is exposed to a problem and has to be taken care of. It is the parents responsibility to create proper awareness in the minds of the children about UV rays and teach their children how to protect themselves against it.