Benefits of Adding Shade to Playgrounds

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Top Reasons to Add Shade to Playgrounds

During a recent study, the NPPS (National Program for Playground Safety) assessed sun protection on playgrounds across the country. Only three percent of the playgrounds that were evaluated had full protection from the hottest times of the day from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thirty percent of the sites had partial shade, but that left an alarming 67 percent of the public playgrounds that were visited fully exposed during the sun's peak hours. If this study reflects the nation's public playgrounds and their use of shade, now is the time to petition for shade on the playgrounds our children play on.

From swings, independent events, and play structures to tables or benches, there are many benefits of integrating shade into various parts of your play environment.

1. Children can play longer without overheating.

The heat and brightness from the sun can be a burden after a while, and children will want to go back indoors for relief. By shading your playground, children will be able to play longer, allowing them to have more fun while staying active. Shade structures typically keep spaces 20 degrees cooler for children to play in; this includes the surfaces that children play on!

2. Keep equipment cooler to the touch.

Many playground injuries come from children touching over-heated playground structure surfaces that are exposed to the sun for too long. Shading your play area will help prevent children from getting burns. Fun fact: Playground burns can happen during the winter too if the playground is exposed to the sun long enough. Just because the temperature of the air is cooler, doesn't mean that the equipment gets any cooler.

3. Increase the life of your play equipment.

In addition to cooling the playground, shade structures will actually increase the life of the playground equipment. It does this by protecting it against fading and cracking that happens from sun exposure over time. When plastic is overheated, it is possibly subjected to warping and cracking which creates a hazard for children at play.

4. Protect children from harmful UV rays.

One blistering sunburn could increase a child’s risk of getting skin cancer later in life according to scientific research. By adding our UV-protective shade to your playground, children can have fun and stay active outside while protected from harmful UV rays. Fun fact: commercial playground shade actually provides more SPF protection than hats.

Ways to Add Playground Shade

Protect your outdoor play environment from the sun by integrating shade structures into any portion of active use zones.

Cover an Entire Play Structure

Cover part of your play structure with our Sail Shades or all of your playground area with a Hip and Ridge shade in a square, rectangle, or hexagon shape. We offer many sizes and fabric colors to match your play environment! The Sail Shade adds a stylish look. Add several sail shades for an overlapping look to cover more of the play area. Adding the Hip and Ridge style to your playground is more traditional, but the function over style wins our customers over every time.

Integrated Shade

The most affordable way to add shade to your playground is with the use of our modular shade options. Modular shade allows you to integrate a canopy into the posts of your playground. This can be done when you first install your playground, or add it to your playground later. Superior Playgrounds is able to design and manufacture modular shade for any existing playground structure.

Swing Set Canopies

Did you know you can incorporate sun protection into your swing set? Check out our Swing Frame with Shade! Our skilled engineers have designed this to be a safe and economical way to shade swing sets to keep children protected from the sun. This is a favorite among schools, child development centers, and parks!

Shade Independent Play Areas

When shading smaller areas that include musical gardens, playground rockers, or freestanding climbers, the use of single-post umbrellas or cantilever umbrellas are perfect. The use of only one post allows for more play area without the use of extra support posts.

Bench Canopy

Have a bench beside your playground? Our Bench Shade Attachment perfectly fits on the back of any 6-foot standard in-ground or surface mount park bench. This economical option is a great way to add shade for relief from the sun.

Are you ready to add playground shade?

There is no shortage of options when it comes to styles, sizes, shapes, and ultimately budget when it comes to adding playground shade. When you're ready, we are here to partner with you to bring shade to your playground.

Playground Shade Guide
Playground Safety Checklist

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Don't Forget Shade

Protect children and playground equipment from the heat and the weather by incorporating shade into your commercial playground environment.