Shade structures are a growing trend found on outdoor playgrounds and are designed to protect and provide shade from the sun. They also serve many other beneficial purposes for outdoor playgrounds.

Here are 5 reasons why your playground needs a shade structure.

Shade structures help protect from harmful UV rays and protect children from heat-related dangers.

The sun can be both beneficial and harmful to the body. The sun’s ultraviolet B rays helps our bodies produce Vitamin D which is essential to children’s health, but the sun’s ultraviolet A rays can cause harmful damage to the skin.

A sunburn isn’t necessarily the sun burning you. A sunburn is actually caused by the body’s natural reaction to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Prolonged sun exposure in children can increase the risks of developing cancer at a young age or even later on in life.

With melanoma cancer being one of the most common cancers found in children, it is important for schools to help take action in limiting sun exposure at school. Shade structures offer a significant amount of protection from the sun, which can help in the mission of protecting our children against the risk of cancer. At the same time, children can feel free to play outside without the worry or risk of being in direct sunlight.

Active children are very susceptible to overheating. Overheating can easily happen when a child overexerts themselves in hot weather. If dehydration is also a factor, overheating could be a life-threatening situation. It is important for your staff to be aware of the signs of overheating so that they can recognize if a child is in danger.

Shade structures help keep children from overheating by providing proper shade from the sun. On extremely hot days, it is especially important to make sure children have water available when they are playing outside.

Shade structures keep playground equipment cool and help it last longer.

Playground equipment that is in direct contact with the sun can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures. On an extremely hot day, it is possible for children to get 2nd degree burns.

Shade structures offer an effective solution to keep playground equipment shaded and out of the sun, so that the children can play safely on equipment.

Sun exposure can also cause playground equipment to start to fade after so many years. But that’s the least of your worries when it comes to the outdoor elements. Rain can cause playground equipment to rust and, depending on the size, hail can even cause significant damage to your playground equipment.

Protect your expensive playground investment by installing a shade structure. Shade structures can help protect your playground equipment from sun, rain, and hail around the clock.

Financial incentives may be available for installing shade structures.

Schools should not look at shade structures as an extra expense, but rather as a priority to help keep their most valuable asset, the children, safe.

The American Academy Dermatology Association offers incentives of up to $8,000 to public schools and non-profit organizations who install permanent shade structures for their outdoor playgrounds that are not protected from the sun.

A shade structure over your playground can help protect your students from the sun. If you have an outdoor area that could benefit from a shade structure, then we would be happy to discuss the different shade options that we have available.