| October 6, 2008 | 0 Comments

Today I went to the dermatologist.  It wasn’t a “regular screening.”  Rather, I went because I was scared by a new mole on my arm that seemed to pop up overnight.  Turns out … the dermatologist thinks it was some sort of strange bug bite (as it has begun to fade in the past few days) so I’m just supposed to watch it.  Although, in the process he found 2 other spots he wanted to biopsy.

This experience got me thinking once again about opportunities to teach our students…

My sun exposure over the years has been less than ideal – to put it mildly.  Years of marching band rehearsals and all-day outdoor competitions without paying enough attention to sunscreen has probably already done it’s damage.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve come home with a sunburn – especially after a marching band competition.  And even today, as embarrassing as it is to admit, the dermatologist looked at my peeling arms and said, “Looks like you got a sunburn a couple weeks ago…” In fact, it was at our first competition of the season…during a 4 hour pre-rehearsal.  In my defense…I did wear sunscreen that day…I just missed my forearms and the right side of my face…talk about a weird looking coach at the end of that day!

Mine will be a future of watching and wondering if that last sunburn is going to come back to haunt me one day.  After all, when I was a kid, people still believed that spf 4 was good enough!  I’ve had my share of burns.

But now we know better.

As the weather turns cooler, it’s easy to forget that the sun is still bright overhead with the same damaging rays as when it’s hot outside.  Kids don’t always think ahead (and neither do I for that matter…or I might not be writing this blog entry!).  Consider sticking a bottle of sunscreen in your guard bag for those sunny competition days and afterschool rehearsals.  When you notice the sun is overhead, a quick reminder to the students and the easy access to the sunscreen can save a them from burning.

And if you’re like me, having had too many burns over your life.  Consider visiting a dermatologist if you haven’t already.  I was scared to have my “freckles” checked out and that it might hurt to have them removed…but I can assure that my experience today was “almost” painless.  Except for a tiny bit of a stinging sensation when they numbed the site it didn’t hurt at all.  So it really is nothing to worry about.  For more information on Skin Cancer here’s the website for The Skin Cancer Foundation .

Have fun!  And stay safe in the sun!

Tags: ,

Category: Instruction, safety, Team Management

About the Author (Author Profile)

Catina Anderson is the founder/editor of the Colorguard Educators blog. Color guard has been part of her life for almost 25 years. She began coaching in 1994 and worked with the Broad Run High School color guard in Northern VA from 1998 until 2010. She has also written for Halftime Magazine and served on the Executive Board of the Atlantic Indoor Association. A former teacher, she enjoys sharing what she has learned and hopes to encourage others to share as well. Together we can create even more positive experiences for performers and help to collectively strengthen marching arts activities worldwide.

Leave a Reply