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canopy tentBeing back in school is good and bad. I really like the summer and the fact that we don’t have homework, but I missed my friends. Since we got back to school, It has been really hot; like 90 degrees or hotter for a whole bunch of days. Going outside for recess and gym has been pretty miserable, but we are only outside for 30 minutes. I kinda feel bad for my friends who play sports; it is still really hot and sunny, and they are out there for 2 hours after school and on the weekends. Most of the ball fields don’t really have any shade. I noticed that many of my friends have become pretty tan, but I haven’t noticed any of them sunburned.

I know that shade is one of the best ways to block the sun’s UV rays, but this really isn’t an option at my school or town. UV protective clothing is also a great idea, but kids that play on a team, like baseball or Shade Structures for sportssoccer, have to wear a uniform. I don’t think their uniforms are UV protective. It seems that wearing sunscreen is a no-brainer! But I gotta tell you, having sunscreen on your face that runs into your eyes when you get sweaty, really stings! Plus having slippery hands from greasy sunscreen makes catching or throwing a baseball or football pretty hard to do.

So what does this all mean? Clearly, playing outside sports put kids at risk for sun damage. This is not ideal!! There are simple ways to address this issue. For example, the town could provide tents, or at least large umbrellas for the players to stand under when they are on a break, or when not playing, etc. The coaches could stay under the tent during much of the game too, so they don’t get sunburnt. I know it costs money, but I bet if the town knew how important being SunAWARE was, they would agree to do something. Also, kids could have some sort of a fundraiser to raise money for these things. Another idea is for the team uniforms to be UV protective, and to include a wide brimmed-hat (this may not look so great, but would be sun-safe!)

Since some kids play sports or do outside activities starting from when they are really young, the amount of time that they are exposed is huge. Protection from the sun’s damaging rays over those years is really important. Sun safety for players should be an important consideration for towns and schools!!!

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