Shade Systems for Your Playground

If your school is located where it can be especially hot outside, it makes sense to provide plenty of shade for students when they’re outdoors. Well-executed shade systems can do more than just give your kids a break from direct sun, protecting costly playground equipment from the elements and potentially-destructive UV radiation all year round.

That makes them an excellent investment even for cash-strapped schools. Playground shade systems are the kind of project parents and community supporters can easily get behind.

In some areas, shade systems are now mandated.
These days the American Cancer Society strongly encourages all schools, especially those with younger students, to provide shade as a means of helping prevent skin cancer.

An increasing number of school districts and regulatory bodies are actually requiring that shade be provided in certain circumstances. For instance, the State of California requires schools to provide shade if children are outdoors in temperatures above 85 degrees.

There are lots of options to provide playground shade.
Shade systems can be permanent or temporary. If you’ve planted trees you can use canopies or awnings to cover playground areas for a few years while the trees grow to provide their own shade.

You’ll want to think about:

  • The size and shape of the area you need to cover, and whether a single unit or several sections will serve the purpose most effectively.
  • Whether you want your shade systems to protect children from more than direct sunlight. Canopies can also make playgrounds more useful when it’s raining or even snowing.
  • Whatever you choose, it will need to meet building and fire codes and any special requirements of your school or district.

Shade systems are typically designed and manufactured to order, but some types are also available as kits that you can assemble yourself. Talking with an awning design professional can help you understand your options and sort out which solutions will work best for your needs and your school’s budget.

Photo Credit: edenpictures via Flickr