Sun Safety and Soccer

When getting pumped up for a soccer match, many things are running through your head as you prepare to take the field. One thing that most athletes forget, including soccer players, is to protect themselves from the sun. A soccer match can last for hours, leaving your skin exposed to the sun and harmful UV rays. Failure to take the proper precautions to protect your skin from the sun can result in serious health consequences. 

Thankfully, there are several ways soccer players can protect themselves from the harmful UV rays. The easiest is to apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection. Opt for a waterproof sunscreen that won’t weaken due to water and sweat. Remember to re-apply per the bottles instruction. It’s also vitally important for soccer players to protect their eyes. Opt for a pair of sports sunglasses that wrap around your eyes to block glare from distorting your vision. Make sure the sunglasses have polarized lenses that block the harmful UV rays from harming your vision. The lenses should also be shatterproof; you never know when you’ll take a ball to the face.

Athletes that are out in the sun all day without proper protection increase their chances of developing skin cancer. In the short term, you will have to deal with the painful consequences of sunburn. It’s no fun coming home from a match and having to apply aloe all over your body. It’s unlikely much harm will occur if you develop sunburn once or twice. It’s when you make a habit of not protecting yourself that your odds increase.

On a final note, it’s important to remember that you can still get sunburn on a cloudy day. UV rays are very strong and can cause damage to your skin through the clouds. Check the UV Index before heading out to your soccer match. If the UV index is very high, consider bringing a hat for when you aren’t in the game. 

Although you are a fierce competitor, your health and safety must come first!

Bio: Adam is a former goalie who still enjoys playing soccer every chance he gets. When he isn’t kicking the ball around or busy at work, he enjoys golfing, cooking, and traveling.

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