A campaign is addressing the UK’s epidemic rise in skin cancer by raising awareness of sun protection in sport and outdoor recreation.
Sunguarding Sport launches in May, backed by over 40 national governing bodies, with the rationale being that sportspeople receive substantially higher UV exposure, and routinely exceed the recommended exposure limits, increasing their risk of skin cancer.
Factors such as sweating, water contact, minimal clothing, and lack of shade, make it even more important, however, only 50 per cent sun protect when exercising outdoors.
Sunguarding Sport by the Melanoma Fund is a free resource for participants, spectators, and officials, which whilst encouraging people to get outdoors, puts sun protection firmly on their radar.
Written by Professor Brian Diffey and Dr Elizabeth Blakeway Manning, the advice lays out which sunscreen to use, type of clothing, tips on application and shade, the resource advises on how to avoid or deal with heatstroke, sunburn, heat exhaustion and dehydration.
The campaign’s top five tips include:
UV radiation cannot be seen or felt, so check the UV Index daily, and use sun protection when it reads 3 or over.
A short training session can last for hours, so get into the habit of being sun prepared before you start any outdoor activity.
Sunscreen can wear, wash, rub or sweat off, so reapply every two hours or more often when around water.
To avoid a greasy grip, use a sunscreen applicator or clean palms with a small towel and alcohol gel.
When removing clothing on a warm day, remember to apply sunscreen to all newly exposed areas of skin.
Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund, said: “With the spotlight on health and welfare, Sunguarding Sport has certainly hit the right note, evidenced by the incredible pre-launch support we have received. Our aim is to get all sports and outdoor recreational organisations involved, to help improve sun protection habits and impact skin cancer, because if not, why not.”
For further details visit www.melanoma-fund.co.uk