The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) advises the installation of permanent protective shade shelters or canopies over play areas to add a layer of protection from sun exposure. Without protective shading, children can suffer serious sunburn as well as burns from coming into contact with the super-heated surfaces of unshaded play equipment. Not only do parents and caregivers who care about safety carefully supervise their children as they climb, swing, and run on the playground, making sure that no child falls or is injured, they also apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every two hours, on sunny and cloudy days, to offer their kids a layer of protection. Sunburn is a serious (and invisible) injury. Just 15 minutes of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause skin-damaging sunburn which increases the risk of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. By
Depending on the angle of the sun, harmful ultraviolet rays will be able to penetrate a play area from its unshaded sides; however, an overhead shade structure provides an additional layer of SPF 15 sun protection and helps to minimize skin damage and burning and can decrease the surface temperature of play equipment.