The Value of UV Protection on Playgrounds

Kids may have different criteria but ask any parent or caregiver and they’ll tell you that the best playgrounds are the ones with shade. Playground shade cover reduces exposure to UV rays and lowers dangerous surface temperatures, keeping children safe and comfortable while they play, and making the experience more enjoyable for parents and caregivers.

The Danger of UV Exposure

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), children are especially sensitive to the damaging effects of overexposure to the sun’s UV rays. Children burn faster than adults, and cumulative skin damage increases with every exposure. In fact, just one bad sunburn in childhood can lead to skin cancer 30 years later.

High surface temperatures on playground equipment are also a concern. An ABC News report measured playground surfaces with a laser temperature gun on a hot day and found the playground equipment and ground covering temperatures ranged from 140 – 200 degrees. Those temperatures are high enough to cause second- or third-degree burns on children’s delicate skin.

Despite these dangers, the benefits of outdoor play for children are well documented. Harvard Health Blog reports that playing outside helps children develop executive functioning skills such as planning, negotiating and multitasking. Unstructured outdoor play also teaches children important socialization tools, introduces them to risk-taking and helps foster an appreciation for nature.

Playground Shade with UV Protection

So how can you reduce the risks and enjoy the benefits of outdoor play? The solution is shade. In the Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends children play in shaded areas. A Fox 13 Made in Tampa Bay report explains how shade structures made by Apollo Sunguard are designed to mimic shade trees and lower temperatures by 20 – 50 degrees. Apollo Sunguard’s Shade Cloth is made with durable high-density polyethylene material with ultraviolet additives that block up to 96% of UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, overheating and other heat-related injuries.

Retrofitting Playground Equipment to Add Shade

Modern landscape architects and playground designers understand the value of including shade structures in new public parks and school playgrounds. But existing playgrounds can also be modified to add shade. Apollo Sunguard invented and patented a design that retrofits existing equipment with obstacle-free playground shade. Apollo Sunguard offers the largest attached shades in the industry, providing maximum sun protection.

In addition to increasing comfort and safety, shade also provides asset protection. Reducing UV exposure and sun damage preserves the quality and lifespan of playground equipment and property.

Exciting Options in Playground Shade

Playground sunshades come in many different colors and styles to add functional beauty and flair. Apollo Sunguard offers 32 different types of structures, 17 fabric colors, and 11 frame colors to enhance outdoor play spaces. And if that’s not enough, custom options and designs can be created to perfect the look and function of the space.

Apollo shades are designed and engineered to comply with the latest local and national building code requirements, and they come with the shade industry’s leading warranty – a 20-year warranty on the steel framework and a 15-year warranty on the fabric.

For more information on the value of Apollo Sunguard UV protection on playgrounds, contact us at 941-925-3000 or at [email protected].

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blue shade structureSail-shaped shade structures covering playground in pool.