playground shade styles

The Hidden Hazard on the Playground: The Sun

How to Protect Your Playground from the Texas Sun with Playground Shade

The playground is THE SPOT for children to play, socialize, and be physically challenged. However, there is a hidden hazard you may not have thought of. No, we are not talking about the obvious safety concerns such as equipment that is broken or is not installed properly. While those are definitely things to be observant of before children begin to play, we are talking about… wait for it… the sun! The sun is probably one of the most overlooked hazards on the playground. Not only does it cause sunburns, but it also heats up the playground equipment making it hot to the touch, and it can often fade the equipment’s color. To prevent these things from happening, it’s important to incorporate playground shade when planning your installation.

Playground Shade Structures

Natural Shade

There are many types of shade options when it comes to protecting your playground environment. First, there is natural shade. Choosing to install your playground near large trees is a great and cost-effective option. The landscaping crews just need to be sure the tree is properly trimmed so the tree limbs do not interfere with the playground equipment. The CPSC advises that your playground equipment should be clear of any trees or low-hanging tree limbs of at least 6-12 feet.

Hip and Dome Playground Shade Structures

Another playground shade idea to protect your playground equipment and everyone around it is to add a large hip or dome shade to your site’s design. This can be done when the original playground is installed or over an existing structure. The hip shade is the most functional and affordable shade option to shade large portions of your playground. It’s available in varying sizes and heights in order to allow for plenty of clearance above your playground equipment. A hip can shade areas from 10 feet (100 sqft.), ideal for musical gardens and sandboxes, all the way up to 38 feet (1,444 sqft.), ideal for shading the entire structure. When additional shade is needed, a good solution is the dome hip shade. A single dome can shade up to 2,000 sqft.

Modular Playground Shade

The most affordable canopy to shade your playground equipment directly is the modular playground shade. Playground Etc.’s playground shade covers can be manufactured to fit any new or pre-existing steel playground structure. Modular playground shades are available in many different styles, colors, and sizes. They can be designed as large as 14 ft. x 14 ft. which protects a very large portion of any size commercial playground structure.

However you choose to shade your playground environment, you will be happy you did! The benefits definitely outweigh the risks:

  • Equipment can be as much as 20 degrees cooler during the hottest parts of the day. This tremendously cuts down on the chance of any child burning their tender skin on any of the playground equipment.
  • Shading also helps keep your playground equipment from fading and breaking down.
  • Helps prevent sunburns when your community forgets to pack the sunscreen. 
  • There are many colors to choose from making your playground environment an architectural icon.

Take a look at our full range of Playground Shade Structures and remember you can give us a call on 1-866-461-2814 if you need any more information or help.

How do you protect your playground from the Texas heat? Let us know in the comments below or send us a message. We love hearing from our readers!

Brett Johnson

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