At CTPO, we recommend that kids of all ages get their time outside; after all, vitamin D is key for strong bones! Spring is a great time for nurturing our body, but unfortunately being out in the sun can have its risks, too.
In a previous blog post we talked about the most common injuries for young athletes involved in Spring sports, from running to baseball. But being active under the Texas sun means we have more to worry about than just stress fractures and tendonitis! Here are the two most important ways to be safe in the sun, whether you’re running around, tossing a ball, or even just cheering from the sidelines.
It’s one of those things that feels like we always talk about but often forget to do. Our skin is our largest organ, but it’s exposed in a way that no other organ is! By wearing sunscreen we can protect it from the effects of the sun, such as sunburns, spots, and even certain kinds of cancer. To make sure sunscreen has the effect it’s meant to, apply it thirty minutes before you get out in the sun, and then don’t forget to reapply! Sunscreen is washed off or absorbed every two hours, and even quicker than that if you’re sweating or swimming. So keep it handy and reapply as needed, every day. Yes, every day — on a cloudy day, nearly 80% of the UV rays from the sun can still penetrate your skin, so bring your sunscreen no matter the forecast.
Being out in the sun can raise our internal temperature and causes our body to do whatever it needs to cool itself off. Usually that takes the form of sweat, but even if you are not noticing your clothes getting soaked, your body is still spending its precious water reserves to stay cool. As that water gets used up, it needs to be replenished, so drink lots of water while outdoors. We should always be looking to keep our hydration levels high by drinking six to eight glasses a day, but more may be needed if you’re out in the heat. Caffeinated beverages, like many sodas, are diuretic and can make a person use the bathroom more often — which, much like sweating, causes water to leave the body. The symptoms and consequences of dehydration can be severe, so stay on top of the water your kid consumes as well as the water they release.
Enjoy the warmer weather, but stay sun safe!