Protecting Your Playground from the Sun

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.

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 variety of options to choose from. There are several shade options that can work in a variety of different types of playgrounds and setups. This gives you the ability to pick and choose shade structure designs that will work with your play space and compliment your other design elements. Consider these different shade structure designs and 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.
  • 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. 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. Shade structures from USA SHADE are an economical way to provide sun protection to an entire play area. 

Our shade structures are made with HDPE materials, which help block up to 96% of the sun's UV rays. USA SHADE products help keep visitors comfortable while using your playground.

Some of our shade structures feature innovative designs like flowers and butterflies to engage young visitors and make the play area feel whimsical. USA SHADE products are customizable, so you can ensure they'll complement your playground with beautiful colors. 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 play space visitors.

To find out what USA SHADE can do for you, contact our team for a quote today!

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