Sun & Skin News

At the Old Ball Game

By Julie Bain • September 26, 2016
little league team

The sun can be brutal at Greenwich Village Little League games in New York City, where parents do their best to slather players with sunscreen. Photo by Josh Levine.

Who doesn’t love baseball? Whether it’s a Little League game in your own neighborhood, or good seats at a legendary Major League stadium, it’s still America’s pastime.

If you’re in the sun for several innings, though, you can hurt your eyes and get a nasty sunburn, too — and that could lead to skin cancer. Follow our guidelines below to put you and your family in the Sun Safe Hall of Fame.

1. Sit in the shady section.

Buddies Nathan and Tynan, 12, sit in the shady seats at a Mets game.

If you’re a spectator, aim for shade. Call the stadium box office, check the website or, if you live nearby, observe which seats are in shade at game time. You won’t get sunburned, you will see better and you’ll be cooler, too. Still, wear your sunscreen for any incidental exposure you’ll get while buying popcorn or searching for where you parked your car.

2. Apply sunscreen like a pro.

Baseball player holding bat with crowd in background
While The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a hat with a wide brim all the way around for best sun protection, we get it: At a ballgame you are going to wear a billed cap. Fine. So here’s what you need to do:

Before you head out, apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Don’t forget your ears and the back of your neck! And hey, if you want to rub a little eye black on to cut the glare like some players do, go for it.

3. Reapply halfway.

hot dogEven if you covered yourself in sunscreen at home before you left, you’ll need to reapply before the 7th inning stretch. Squeeze sunscreen on your arm (or into your hand) like you squirt mustard on a hot dog. Then rub it in. (Not the mustard.) Don’t miss any exposed spots!

4. Wear your shades.

Tynan’s wraparound shades shield his eyes from damaging UV rays.

Tynan’s wraparound shades shield his eyes from damaging UV rays.

Look for lenses that absorb and block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, to protect your eyes from damage that can lead to skin cancer. Also, you won’t have to squint as much. And polarized lenses tend to reduce glare.

5. Bring your glove.

That way, you don’t even have to remove your hat to catch a fly ball.
waiting for a fly ball