For an enhanced digital experience, read this story in the ezine.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the time they reach their 70s. What’s more, this organization and the American Cancer Society report that depletion of the earth’s ozone layer is increasing our exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, which causes millions of people to develop skin cancer annually.
To minimize the risks of UV exposure, the top recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to stay in the shade.
Often, the time that people spend outside and in the sun is within public parks and while taking part in recreation activities. Playgrounds, splash pads, pools, skate parks, basketball courts, bleachers, dugouts and concession areas are some sites that are most vulnerable to sun exposure. Given that these spaces are where people are likely to be exposed to harmful UV rays, park administrators can take a proactive approach to this problem by providing more sun protection for the public. Once considered an “optional” park amenity, shade protection — such as shade covering — is quickly becoming required equipment for maintaining children’s health and well-being.
What Type of Shade Do I Need?
The industry has answered the call for long-lasting, durable and attractive shade products. The best products on the market come in a range of colors, use quality materials, and offer extensive warranties and features, including the means to easily remove the canopy and replace it later in the event of severe storm or for the winter season.
Ask if the shade product you are contemplating offers all of the following:
- A 20-year rust through corrosion warranty on metal components
- A 10-year deterioration warranty on fabric canopies (including the stitching thread) and cables
- Stainless steel cables and hardware for maximum corrosion resistance
- Easy and reusable removability mechanism built in with its own 10-year warranty
Choosing Attractive Shade to Improve Your Site
There are a variety of shade designs available on the market today that will not just protect people, but also improve the aesthetics of any site. Choose a shade design that not only will protect park visitors, but also will create an attractive focal point. When arranged together, multiple shade coverings can become a shaded destination that people seek out for outdoor gatherings under the sun.
What’s more, shade covering that offers multilevel sails are great for shading larger areas, such as exercise courts or playgrounds. Their layers of colorful fabric canopies can make your public venue a landmark destination that attracts families for fun under the sun.
The Bottom Line
With people’s health at risk, providing shade at public places is no longer just an option, but a necessity. If you choose wisely, shade can be a long-lasting investment for the public good that’s aesthetically pleasing, maintenance-free, and easy to remove and reattach by your staff.
Alan Bayman is President of Shade Systems, Inc.