It’s important for kids to get outside and play, but it’s equally important to make sure they are protected from the sun. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
“Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life.”
What you need to keep in mind is that sunburns and sun damage don’t only happen on a long day at the beach or on bright, sunny days; it can happen on cool and cloudy days and during regular day-to-day activities outside.
In the United States, the strongest, most harmful rays of the day are usually from 10am to 4pm. These hours are also the peak outside play and playground visiting hours. This is one of the main reasons it’s important to have shade structures on playgrounds to protect the children from harmful UV rays.
There are preventative measures that parents can take in order to protect their kids, like having them wear hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. but oftentimes it’s hard to follow through with all of those on a regular basis; specifically when children go to school. Most schools do not allow hats or sunglasses to be worn at school, so during recess they won’t be able to wear them. And most parents don’t take the time to put sunscreen on their children every morning before they head off to school. If every school and daycare had shade structures on their playgrounds, it would allow kids to be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays without parents having to take any extra precaution of their own.
One organization is trying to make that happen: the American Academy of Dermatology has created a Shade Structure Grant Program to help supply shade structures to public schools and non-profits that can’t afford them on their own.
“The AAD Shade Structure Grant Program awards grants of up to $8,000 to public schools and non-profit organizations for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools or recreation spaces. In addition to the grant, the AAD also provides a permanent sign for display near the shade structure. Members can support the program by sponsoring an application or making a donation to the program.”
You can visit their website to see if you’re an eligible applicant and fill out an application if you meet the criteria. If you aren’t an eligible applicant don’t distress; shade structures are an easy upgrade to add to any existing playground or outdoor space.
Contact us today and we can help you find a shade structure that suits your needs and is within your budget.