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Protecting Your Playground from the Sun

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Play areas are the heart of any school or community, bringing all types of people together to enjoy playing outside. The best time for kids to enjoy playgrounds is on sunny days. But hot playground equipment can deter children from using it. The sun can also harm visitors, potentially causing skin issues later in life. Sun shades for playgrounds offer an effective solution as they protect visitors and equipment from the harsh sun.

Discover how your school, business, church, HOA or other entity can shade your playground and why shade can benefit your play area’s longevity and visitors’ well-being.

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

Newly Planted 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 the natural canopy will offer protection.

Keep in mind that in the fall and early spring, your trees may not provide as much shade as they would in the summer. Newly planted trees will also take a while to grow, so it may be several years before you can benefit from their shade. In addition, your playground maintenance crew will need to regularly upkeep the trees by trimming the branches and cleaning 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, such as shade sails, cantilever and single-post shade structures to ensure optimal playground sun protection. Your school, business or other organization can further personalize these structures by choosing fabrics that reflect your brand colors or display your logo.

Sun shades for playgrounds are an ideal option for new or existing playgrounds to cover large areas in a visually pleasing way.

Benefits of Playground Commercial Shade Structures

Shade structures provide the following benefits:

Shade Structure 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. You can also select breathable fabrics for your structures, enabling a constant airflow to keep 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. As UV rays can still penetrate clouds on overcast days, children and adults are at risk even when it’s cloudy. Adding playground shade structures provides constant UV protection, preventing skin damage in all weather conditions.
  • Prevent sun damage: Much like how sunlight can damage skin, too much direct sun can damage your play area equipment. This damage impacts your playground’s overall aesthetics and can affect your equipment’s structural integrity. Shade structures shield playground components from the sun, helping to prevent fading and wear and tear. As playground equipment is an investment, taking care of it helps to increase the longevity of your equipment. 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 eliminate the issue of hot playground equipment, allowing kids to enjoy the space even on sunny days.

Shade structures can also benefit other areas in and surrounding your playground. Walkways and seating areas are great areas to add shade structures, as they help make all visitors comfortable. Try to use simple shade structures in these areas to ensure adequate visibility lines so caregivers can supervise children.

Playground Shade Structure Options

One of the best parts of incorporating shade structures is the wide variety of options to choose from. By carefully considering factors such as your playground’s setup, typical weather conditions and style preferences, you can find the best shade option for your needs. This variety enables you to choose shade structure designs that will work with your play space and complement your other design elements. Consider these different shade structure designs and options:

Playground Shade Structure Options

Multi-panel structures: With striking, highly unique elements and shapes, multi-panel shade structures offer modern shade coverage. These shade structures add vibrant design while providing effective coverage on your playground.

Cantilevers: Cantilevers are typically single-post shade structures that offer a simple way to shade your playground. These structures are great for play areas with limited space and come in a variety of simple or complex designs.

Shade sails: Shade sails offer an airy, sophisticated and visually interesting shade option. Sails can be installed at different heights to create depth and provide shade for a variety of playground equipment pieces. Sails allow you to shade tall structures like jungle gyms and low playground components like balance beams with ease.

Hip structures: Hip shade structures have clean lines and a defined shape that will seamlessly blend into all playground designs. USA SHADE offers hip structures in various sizes so you can find the right fit for your space.

USA SHADE also offers customizable shade options, allowing you to add unique designs to your play space. For example, you could personalize your structures with fabrics in bold, bright colors to make your play space more appealing for children. Solar panels, lighting and fans are other ways you can tailor your playground structure to your needs. Fans are particularly useful for play areas in warm climates, as they increase airflow to keep children more comfortable.

Consider collaborating with us to create special shade structures.

Why Use USA SHADE Products?

In many cases, shade structures are preferred over umbrellas and other shade solutions because they make playgrounds more enjoyable on hot days. Here are just some of the many reasons to use USA SHADE products:

Permanent Structures

  • No setup required: Unlike temporary shade solutions that need to be packed away at the end of each day, USA SHADE products are permanent structures. This ensures your play space is always ready to welcome visitors.
  • Minimal maintenance: We use high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in our structures. This material makes shade structures exceptionally durable, decreasing the need for extensive repairs or maintenance.
  • Economical solution: Shade structures from USA SHADE are a cost-effective way to provide sun protection to an entire play area. HDPE fabric offers a 12-year lifespan so you can maximize the return on your investment.
  • Fully customizable: Some of our shade structures feature innovative designs like flowers and butterflies to engage young visitors and make the play area feel whimsical. Since all our products are customizable, you can ensure they complement your playground with beautiful colors.

12-Year Lifespan

For over two decades, we’ve helped create durable shade structures for schools, businesses, communities, parks and recreation areas, helping attract and protect kids and their families.

Help Protect Playground Visitors With USA SHADE

USA SHADE proudly supports the Shade Project, which spreads awareness about sun safety and offers educational events, free resources, free screenings for skin cancer and sunscreen samples for local communities. Schools can apply for grants through the Shade Project and USA SHADE to earn funds toward shade structures for their outdoor spaces and playgrounds to protect visitors.

With numerous shade structures to choose from, you can safeguard your playground equipment while making playtime more enjoyable for families. To find out what USA SHADE can do for you, contact our team for a quote today!