We are all aware of the important ways to protect ourselves from the hazards of different sports. Lugging around bags of pads, helmets, and other protective gear is second nature to any athlete or parent. There are other hazards, particularly in the summer, that we should be mindful of and be packing protection for as well… the sun and heat. Whether you are an active participant or enthusiastic fan, there are things you can do to increase your safety and enjoyment of summer sports.
When you are playing or watching sports in the sun, remember the 5-S’s of sun safety to keep you safe and comfortable… Slip, slap, slop, seek, and slide.
- Slip on loose-fitting, lightweight, long-sleeved clothing that will block the sun’s rays – if you can see through the fabric when you hold it up to light, it will not protect you.
- Slap on a wide brimmed hat that shades all around your head if you are watching. If you are playing, wear a hat that is appropriate, but be sure to use sunscreen on your face, ears, and neck.
- Slop on a generous amount of sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours or more often if sweating or swimming. Don’t forget your nose, ears, and the back of your neck.
- Seek shade whenever possible – take a seat under a tree or bring an umbrella with you to sit under.
- Slide on a pair of 100% UV protective sunglasses – your eyes can burn too. Protect them, as they are the only two you have. It also makes catching that fly ball a little easier.
Also, do not forget to drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated. It will also help to improve your concentration, stamina, and reaction time on the field.
Following these simple guidelines can make your time watching and playing sports this summer more comfortable and enjoyable, as well as protect your health and appearance later in life. For more information, contact the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit at 519-352-7270 or visit us online at our website: www.chatham-kent.ca/publichealth, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ckphu, or our blog: www.ckphu.com