There are only a few things in life that can beat getting outdoors to enjoy nature under the sun. But every time you soak up the rays unprotected you’re actually putting your skin (light or dark) at risk.

The American Academy estimates that 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. This is a straggering number. But don’t panic! You can take proactive steps to protect your skin from further sun damage so you won’t become one of the 9,500 Americans diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The NYDG Foundation has an incredible outreach program called Shade Up! USA that is specifically designed to educate youth in sports and active play about the importance of protecting your skin from the sun’s UVs.

What Exactly Is Shade Up! USA?

Shade Up! is a physical literacy program, using sports and outdoor play to teach kids about the importance of reducing sun damage, skin health and preserving the environment. The Shade Up! team primarily partners with coaches and trainers who are involved with children and youth in sports and active play. Did you know that over 25 Million American kids participate in one or more of the following sports: tennis, golf, baseball, basketball, football and surfing.

How Are Kids Affected By Shade Up! USA?

Shade Up! plays a crucial role in teaching today’s active kids on how to prevent serious sunburns; the American Academy of Dermatology has determined that only 5 serious sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 (that’s just one a year!) increase the skin cancer risk by at least 80%.

The program has an overwhelmingly positive effect on kids, and their parents. Not only do they learn how to take proactive steps to reduce their overall risk of developing skin cancer, but they discover new passions through sports, teamwork, and environmental activities. Shade Up! also aims to have trees planted in all recreational spaces and school yards.

A few basic things you can do to make sure you and your family are sun protected. When outside slip on light, long-sleeved shirts and pants (linen and rashguards are both good options), stay indoors during the heat of the day; and slop on plenty of SPF sunscreen every hour. And slap on a hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the sun’s UVs.

Remember your SPF! 30+
Save a life
Protect your skin
Filter the rays
Want to learn more about the NYDG Foundation’s Shade Up! Initiative? View our program details here.