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Why does my club need to worry about being SunSmart?
Often UV risks are only associated with warmer months of the year, however UV affects us all year round. Even on a cooler overcast days we can reach a UV factor of 3 or above and experience over-exposure to harmful UV rays. Your club should consider when, where and how members are being exposed to UV at training, matches, or social events to reduce the risk of sunburn, eye damage, and skin damage leading to skin cancer.
So how much UV is too much?
Our bodies need some exposure to UV to ensure we produce enough Vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones, muscles and overall health^. However it is the overexposure to UV which can lead to skin cancers and other health concerns. Therefore we need to ensure we have a balanced approach when we SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on some sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, SEEK shade, and SLIDE on some sunglasses.
How am I meant to know when I need sun protection or not?
One of the easiest methods to keep an eye on the daily UV rating is to download the SunSmart App for your smartphone. This will give you daily notifications and reminders when the UV factor is above 3. Notify people at your club that sun protection is required by using a Sun Protection Time Sign and by adding the free UV Alert Widget to your club’s website (both available from SunSmart’s website).
What if we are a winter sport, play indoors, or play at night?
Your club may conduct pre-season training, travel to carnivals or exhibition events, or run end of year social events outdoors. Conducting a shade audit will help you consider scenarios away from your clubrooms, and will help you find the potential times or areas members and supporters may be over-exposed to harmful UV rays.
Get a SunSmart Policy adopted by the committee. By having a SunSmart Policy, you promote healthy behaviours to your members, regardless of what sport you play. For a sample SunSmart Policy and further information on how to become a SunSmart club, click HERE.
Resources: Cancer Council Victoria (SunSmart)