Different test procedures: the results cannot always be compared with each other.

The sun protection factor (SPF) is a means of evaluating protective compounds such as sun creams. This factor indicates how long a person is able to expose themselves to the sun in relation to how much the skin reddens while wearing the protective compound. SPF must not be confused with the UV protection factor in materials such as those used in prams to provide protection from the sun.

The UPF value indicates the level of sun protection that materials and textiles provide.

Depending on the SPF, the specific USF (ultraviolet sun factor) or UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) are usually given for materials or textiles. As a rule, tests or calculations are carried out in accordance with the New Zealand standard AS/NVS 4399:1996. The scale ranges from nought to a maximum value of 50+. If a white material or cover made from cotton is proven to have a UPF of 15, for example, this means that the material reflects around 80 per cent of the sun's rays. If the UPF is 50+, the rate of reflection is around 98 per cent.

However, it must be taken into account here that the protection provided against UV radiation is reduced when materials are wet or close-fitting, or when the textile is stretched. Moreover, a globally consistent evaluation of actual protection provided against UV radiation is not possible. As a result, the New Zealand standard is met in this regard if a UPF of more than 15 is calculated. In contrast, the European standard (EN 13758-1999) is only met when a UPF of 40 or above is present.

Different test procedures: the results cannot always be compared with each other.

A great number of companies have their products tested by both internal and renowned test institutes. After all, materials are certainly designed to be able to provide a good deal of protection from too much exposure to full sunlight. Interesting to note here is that by using these evaluations – provided that suitable materials are used – a considerably higher UV protection factor is more often achieved than with the strongest sun creams presently available. The New Zealand standard is usually used in these tests.

The so-called UV standard 801 from the Hohenstein Institute also exists; this test also takes specific elements into account to which a material is exposed when in contact with direct sunlight. In contrast to European, New Zealand and American (AATCC 183 - 2000) test methods, the UV standard 801 takes aspects such as the ageing of the material, dampness or stretch of the textile into account. These requirements drastically reduce the sun protection factor of such materials every now and then which in turn affects the UPF.

But there are a few things to watch out for: the UV standard 801 scale extends to a UPF of 80, whereas the New Zealand standard has a maximum value of UPF 50+. As a result of the differences in scaling, the values gained through different test methods cannot be compared with one another. There is no way of consistently evaluating these values. Moreover, there are also countless other internal ways of labelling the sun protection values of materials or textiles, such as t-shirts, in addition to these standards.

Trends for Kids tests the sun protection factor and chemical percentage of each model.

When Trends for Kids prams were subject to New Zealand standard sun protection tests, a total of 60 per cent of UVA and UVB radiation was reflected. A higher percentage is not possible, otherwise the sun protection would no longer be transparent. In accordance with the tests, the used fabric as well as all carrycots indicated a UPF of 50+. Besides classifying its products in relation to sun protection, Trends for Kids also tests its collection in regard to the percentage of heavy metals, plasticisers, hydrocarbons or dyes present. The flammability of the material and perspiration resistance of plastics are inspected in detail.

Even given all of the protective measures taken by those who distribute and manufacture prams to protect children from intensive exposure to solar radiation by using a consistent sun protection, it is still important that the pram and thus the child do not have to stay out in the full sun over a long period of time.