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Guide to Keep Athletes Safe From the Sun

Posted on 04 October 2022

The sun can still be dangerous in the fall. The temperature may feel more relaxed, but protecting our athletes during fall sports is still essential. Middle and high school students will have games after school and on the weekends when the sun is still prominent, and sun safety is necessary. Restrictions such as uniforms, coach's regulations, and teen clothing choices can also play a significant role in protecting the kids from the sun. Below you will find a guide and suggestions to keep our athletes safe from the sun.

Start Young

Tracy Zaslow, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute, believes in the first rule of starting young. We, indeed, must begin early and model the decisions we want our children to make. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, experiencing five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 increases the chances of melanoma by 80% and non-melanoma skin cancer by 68%. Zaslow says other issues can occur with greater sun exposure, including aging of the skin, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. 

We All Play a Role in Keeping Athletes Safe From the Sun

According to Zaslow, hats and sunglasses are extremely helpful in sun protection. If their uniform covers their arms and legs, they will not need to apply sunscreen in these areas. You will still want to use sunscreen for your exposed face and neck for protection. Do not forget the overlooked areas such as the top of the head, ears, lips, and tops of the feet. While most sunscreen labels recommend applying every 2 hours, Zaslow suggests application every hour. Coaches and parents play a huge role in sun protection for our athletes. They can reduce intense UV rays by scheduling practices early in the morning or evening.

Guide for Sun Protection

We all know the sun can cause short-term problems such as itching or pain and long-term issues like melanoma. Jennifer Powers, MD, FAAD, offers quick tips to keep athletes safe from the sun:

  • Follow sunscreen guidelines and reapply sunscreen every two hours (or every hour as needed). Set the alarm on your phone for reminders, and aim for SPF 30 or higher.
  • Use protective layers. Look into our clothing options to protect your athletes from the sun.
  • Avoid peak hours of the sun. This can vary, but typically between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. is when the sun is the strongest.
  • Protect your kids. Teach them how to be self-sufficient with sun protection at an early age.

Learn More About Keeping Athletes Safe From the Sun

Drs. Carlos and Carley Gomez-Meade are the proud co-founders of Little Leaves Sun Protective Clothing. As physicians and parents, we understand the need for everyday sun protection. We create designs that look great and feel remarkably comfortable. We are dedicated to sun safety to keep our kids healthy. Please contact us to learn more about our safeguarding sun clothing. 

 

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