Play areas are integral parts of any school or community, bringing a variety of people together to enjoy playing outside. The best time for kids to enjoy playgrounds is when the weather’s nice, though the sun can make play equipment hot and uncomfortable. The sun can also harm visitors, potentially causing skin issues later in life. Shielding the play space helps protect visitors and playground equipment from the harsh sun.
Learn some ways to help shade your playground and how shade can be beneficial for the longevity of your play area and the well-being of visitors.
How to Protect Your Playground From the Sun
The sun casts harmful UV rays, which can damage skin and can cause dangerous heat-related health issues. In addition to being harmful to both kids and adults on the playground, the sun can heat play equipment to dangerous temperatures and fade the colors over time.
Two of the best playground shade solutions include trees and commercial shade structures. Consider how you can use these two solutions to provide playground sun coverage.
Position Play Equipment Under Trees
Trees can provide an effective natural canopy over play equipment. If you’re designing a new playground, consider where you can keep existing trees, plant new ones and position equipment so they’ll be protected by the natural canopy.
Keep in mind that in the fall and early spring, your trees may not provide as much shade as they would in the summer. They also come with upkeep, as your playground maintenance crew will need to trim branches and clean up leaves.
Install Shade Structures
If you’re looking for a minimal-maintenance way to protect your playground, consider commercial shade structures. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of options, incorporate them into new or existing playgrounds and cover large areas in a visually pleasing way.
Benefits of Playground Commercial Shade Structures
Shade structures provide the following benefits:
Keep kids cool: Kids can easily overheat when playing in the sun on hot days. Commercial shade structures prevent direct sunlight from beating down on a playground, which helps lower temperatures in the play area while keeping kids comfortable during play.
Give adults a comfortable place to rest: When parents and guardians visit the playground, they want to keep cool, too. Extend play space shade over your area’s benches and picnic tables to keep all visitors comfortable and out of direct sunlight.
Provide UV protection: UV rays can lead to uncomfortable sunburn and are a leading cause of skin cancer. Shade structures can block up to 96% of harmful UV rays, making them a critical aspect of playground protection. UV rays can still penetrate clouds on overcast days, and many people forget the sun can still do damage when it’s cloudy. Adding shade structures can provide constant UV protection.
Prevent sun damage: Much like how sunlight can damage skin, too much direct sun can also damage your play area equipment. Shade structures shield playground components from the sun, helping prevent fading. Playground equipment is an investment, so taking care of it helps increase the longevity of your playground’s structures. That saves you time and money, as you won’t need to replace play components as often.
Increase usability: Children and families are more likely to use play spaces when they’re shaded from direct sun. Additionally, shade structures help prevent playground components from getting too hot, which allows kids to enjoy the space, even on sunny days.