5 Tips for Sun Safety in Youth Sports

As the sunny days roll in and the sports fields call your name, it’s essential to gear up not only with your equipment but also with some serious sun protection. Whether you’re dribbling on the basketball court, scoring goals on the soccer field, or swinging for the fences in baseball, safeguarding your skin from harmful UV rays is crucial. Read on for 5 Tips for Sun Safety.

These tips are perfect for athletic trainers, coaches, parents and event operators to keep their skin shielded during those blazing summer sporting events!

Sunscreen, Your Skin’s Best Friend

Before you hit the field, court, or track, slather on some sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Make sure it’s broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it generously about 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours, especially if you’re sweating buckets or swimming laps.

Seek Shade Smartly

Shade is your friend! When possible take breaks under trees, umbrellas, or pop-up tents to give your skin a breather from direct sunlight. It’s a win-win – you get to cool down and reduce your risk of sunburns and heat-related illnesses.

Sun Gear

Hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and pants aren’t just for fashion – they’re for sun protection too. Opt for clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) for an extra layer of defense against UV rays. A pair of sunglasses with UV-blocking lenses can also help shield your eyes from the sun’s glare.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Just like you fuel up before a game, remember to hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Sweating it out on the field can quickly lead to dehydration, which not only affects your performance but also makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage. 

Timing Is Everything

Plan your practices and games wisely to avoid the sun’s peak intensity, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you can, aim for early morning or late afternoon sessions when the sun isn’t as harsh. Not only will you dodge the scorching heat, but you’ll also lessen your risk of sunburns and heat exhaustion.

Remember, protecting your skin from the sun isn’t just about preventing painful sunburns – it’s about safeguarding yourself against long-term damage like premature aging and skin cancer. So, whether you’re shooting hoops, practicing your swing, or conditioning, make sun safety an essential part of your daily routine.

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