Footy season is in full swing, and the kids are keen to get on the field! 

With sports of all varieties occupying the weekends of many families, it’s a busy time! There’s lots to remember when you’re heading out the door on game day. A sports bag with all the essentials – like the water bottle, shoes, uniform, towel, a nutritious snack (sliced oranges anyone?) – is a given. Particularly as it’s starting to cool down a little, is sun safety a priority on your mental checklist? 

Here’s a few tips to make sure the kids – and you! – are covered:

Apply with time to spare 

It takes approximately 20 minutes for the sunscreen to absorb into the skin. Apply it before you leave the house to be sure that you are fully protected. If you’re already in the sun, you have left it too late!

Make sure a good sunscreen is in the sports bag 

A broad-spectrum SPF 50 is the way to go, but nothing under SPF 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreens offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays, the two types of harmful UV radiation emitted by the sun. As well as using the right sunscreen, it is important that you also use enough of this sunscreen. Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen, which is around 30mL (that’s around one teaspoon per limb plus head/neck!) 

Towel off & apply regularly!

Sunscreen should be applied at least every two hours. This is without taking into consideration the excess sweat when playing sport. No sunscreen is 100% waterproof (sweatproof), so it is important to towel dry and re-apply after excessive sweating.

Don’t forget yourself 

It’s easy to put your children first when it comes to sun protection, which is fine, as long as you don’t forget yourself! Not only does it set a good example, but by also taking additional steps, you protect yourself when cheering on your kids. Dress with the sun in mind – a broad-brimmed hat and a long-sleeved shirt are essentials. And while you may be sitting in the shade, don’t be caught out! You are still exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Many people are surprised when they are sunburnt after sitting in the shade of a tree!

Nothing ruins the celebration of a good team win like a red-hot sunburn. Add sunscreen to your ‘weekend sports’ checklist – as essential as remembering the shoes. Apply before you head out the door, and even keep a whole separate bottle in the sports bag so there’s no excuse not to re-apply!

Consider a sunburn an injury. We try to do everything in our power to prevent our kids getting injured when playing sport, so why not do the same for sunburn?