Shaded areas have become one of the most popular places for families to gather at local parks. Daycares and schools are also adding more shade to their playgrounds so that kids can play outside for longer periods of time. While you don’t necessarily need to cover the playground, adding strategically placed shaded areas provides these benefits for everyone.
Prevent Sunburns and Heat-Related Illnesses
It only takes about 15 minutes of exposure to UV rays for a person’s skin to begin to burn. Sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer in the future, and shades provide the ideal barrier to prevent people from getting hurt. Play areas with lots of direct sun or in climates with high temperatures should also have shaded areas where people can get some relief from the heat.
Keep Playground Structures Cool
Many older adults may remember accidentally burning themselves on a hot metal slide. Today’s playground structures are typically made from materials that are more resistant to the effects of heat. However, they can still get hot. Placing shades over preschool playground equipment can prevent kids from getting hurt from hopping on a slide without checking to see if it is hot. As a playground planner, you’ll also like knowing that keeping the equipment cooler prolongs its life span.
Provide Shelter From Inclement Weather
A sudden rain or snow storm can often catch park visitors by surprise. A light rain shower may only last a few minutes, but getting caught in one without an umbrella may mean that everyone has to go home. Shades come in styles that are water-resistant and even waterproof. These can be placed in areas where people can gather to wait out a brief storm.
Increase Your Playground’s Curb Appeal
Shades sit high above the playground equipment, which means that it is often the first thing people see as they drive down the road. You can also find shades in various colors that you can pick to match your daycare, church or community’s logo. When people spot the shaded play areas from the road, they’ll find it more appealing compared to other places that may not provide a place to get respite from the sun.
Give Visitors a Place to Hold Gatherings
There is also something nice about adding shades to areas where people want to gather with their family and friends. Consider adding a shade to park furnishings such as picnic tables. You can give each table their own individual umbrella or create a large covered area that is perfect for parties. Waterproof cabanas are another fun option to add. These have closable curtains that work great in areas where people may need privacy such as at spray parks, and they have a high level of aesthetic appeal that makes your park feel more like a resort.
Adding shaded areas to your park lets visitors know that someone cared enough to think of every possible detail. From waterproof umbrellas to colorful sails, there’s a type of shade out there that lets you protect park visitors from getting too much sun while they have fun.