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The Importance of Shade Structures for Outdoor Play

Playgrounds are an important and valuable part of every community. They are a place where children can enjoy carefree play along with physical exercise. In addition, playgrounds are also a place where children can increase their social skills through interactions with other youth. In order to be truly beneficial, however, playgrounds also need to be set up so that they provide as safe an environment as possible for children. While there are plenty of obvious safety issues that must be taken into consideration when planning or maintaining a playground, it is important not to underestimate sun exposure as a serious threat to children. Because playgrounds are an outdoor activity, children are inherently going to be exposed to heat and the sun's rays; however, the amount of exposure can be reduced by providing adequate shade structures.

To understand the importance of providing shade for playgrounds, one must first understand the danger that the sun represents. One of the most desirable times to be outdoors and playing is on a sunny day. Although these days are beautiful thanks to the sun, they are also harmful because of it as well. The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is invisible to the naked eye. When these rays come into contact with children and adults who are unprotected, it seeps into the skin and destroys cells. These rays are so powerful that they even have the ability to cause damage on days that are cooler in temperature or overcast and cloudy. Excess exposure to UV rays can cause sunburn and over time it can create more severe problems. The more time a child spends in the sun without protection, the greater his or her chances are of developing skin cancer as an adult.

The most important reason to provide playground shade structures is to help provide some form of protection against UV rays. The presence of playground and park shade structures is especially important during the mid-day hours. This is often when outdoor play facilities are the busiest, and it is also when UV rays from the sun are at their strongest. In addition to sun protection, shade structures are also important because they provide relief from the heat. This is important for children at playgrounds on hot days.

When purchasing a structure or when planning where to place it in the playground, consider important factors that will impact its effectiveness such as size, its location and how well it shades. Structures that are larger in size are great for providing protection against direct and indirect sun exposure. A playground shade structure that is located near trees also provides both maximum protection against the sun, and it will also be cooler on warm days, providing additional relief from the heat. The benefit of trees near structures, however, is dependent on the size and fullness of the trees, as sparse and underdeveloped trees provide little assistance in terms of providing additional shade.

At AAA State of Play we have an impressive selection of quality playground shade structures that are available for purchase. Our structures come in various styles and materials so that organizations are certain to find the right structure for their playground. In addition, all of the items that you'll find online, here at our website, are commercial grade and durable. To find the perfect structure to provide shade for children playing outdoors, shop around our site to view our selection. When you're ready to buy, give us a call and we'll help you with your order. As important as shade is to your playground, don't put off getting what you need. Call us today!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart