A recent study found that only 3 percent of public playgrounds have full sun protection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the hottest hours of the day. Roughly 30 percent have partial shade, while the remaining 67 percent are fully exposed. What category does your playground fall into?
Sun exposure is a main consideration for any public or commercial park. Whether you’re building a new park or looking to update your current play area, you’ll want to think about how comfortable this space is for children and their families.
Below are the main reasons why all parks should have a playground shade structure:
Reduce Exposure to UV Rays
Too much exposure to the sun can be dangerous for anyone, particularly young children. The UV rays can lead to skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression and skin cancer. By adding a shade structure to your park, you can reduce UV exposure. This is important even on cloudy or cool days because the sun still emits harmful UV rays.
Provide Protection from the Elements
The weather can be unpredictable at times. However, a little rain or wind doesn’t have to spoil a good time at the park. Parents and caregivers appreciate having a place to bring the kids, especially when the weather starts to change. Playground shade structures provide protection from the elements.
Extend Outdoor Time
The best way to get people to stay at the park longer is by making it comfortable. A clean, well-maintained park with nearby restrooms is key, but it also helps to have areas where kids can cool off and Mom or Dad can take a break. Free standing shade structures at the playground can be used to create a separate space away from the park that’s perfect for picnic lunches, reading books or conversing with friends.
Preserve the Play Equipment
Some shade structures for school playgrounds are installed right over the equipment. During the cold winter months, the equipment has a buffer from the snow, wind, rain, ice, etc. In the summer, the shade structure prevents fading from UV damage. For a longer lifespan and less wear and tear, you’ll want to consider a sunshade.
Keep Equipment Cool to the Touch
Installing a shade structure over your play equipment will also keep it cooler. This way, kids won’t get playground burns when going down the slides, hanging on the monkey bars or sitting in the swings. Unfortunately, overheated equipment can ruin a child’s time at the park.
As you can see, there are many wonderful perks to having a sunshade installed on your playground. There are many ways to do this, such as by covering the entire play structure or creating an independent area. To discuss your options for a playground shade structure, contact Cunningham Recreation today.