When it comes to outdoor activities, there are many options for increasing overall comfort. One of these options is shading on playgrounds. There are both benefits and responsibilities involved in deciding to install playground shading that owners and communities should be ready to deal with, including added costs and upkeep. However, while certainly not required, having your playground shaded can provide a variety of advantages regarding safety and overall equipment lifespan.
Protection From Sunlight
At the top of the list of reasons to install playground shade is UV protection or ultraviolet avoidance. Over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can lead to severe sunburns and even skin cancer. In addition, since playgrounds are most often populated by children, a little shade for the young ones is definitely appropriate. Keeping the equipment at the playground cool is another good reason to install shading. This keeps playground visitors from experiencing unpleasantly hot equipment, and also helps protect the equipment itself from damage due to prolonged sun exposure.
Extending Equipment Life
On the other hand, extended exposure to sunlight is not the only thing people need to avoid while on a playground. Other types of inclement weather like hail, rain, and in some cases snow, must also be considered. Shading structures can protect playground visitors from bad weather. Preservation of the playground equipment’s integrity is another good reason to cover it.
One aspect of installing shading structures that often keeps owners from doing so is the estimated cost of the installation. Because shading structures are usually build around the playground and not as a part of it, buyers often worry about quality standards. Quality equipment can be costly. However, for those considering adding shade to a playground, know that in certain cases groups such as The American Academy of Dermatology may offer incentives through programs for these kind of additions. In addition, for those concerned about the upkeep of shade structures, many providers offer extended warranties on the equipment. Researching available warranties can save playground owners repair and replacement costs later on.
Common Pitfalls to Installation
Given the playground’s geographic location and local weather conditions, it may not be practical to install playground shades. In communities that experience natural disasters such as hurricanes or typhoons often, shading additions can actually cause damage if they fly away in the storm, either to the playground equipment or to nearby structures. If you need to install playground shading in an area such as this, consult a professional to decide which shading equipment would be the safest and most secure for the area.
Size of Area to be Shaded
The practicality of providing shade also depends on the size of the area to be shaded. Some shading apparatuses do not provide complete or large areas of shade for a playground. This means that those visiting these structures would be exposed to the sun while having fun, and in some cases, would have trees or other nearby structures to provide nearly adequate shade. However, if nearby shade isn’t an available option, installing shading around a playground gives guests the options to find shelter from the sun without having to leave the area.
If you would like more information about playground shading structures and their installation, contact T.F. Harper & Associates LP, located in Austin, TX.