The Need for Shade in the Playground

The Need for Shade in the Playground

Protecting children from the sun is more important than ever due to new research constantly coming forward. I recently read an article that stated that over exposure to the sun at younger ages – 0-15 years are more likely to cause major risk factors later in life.

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Image courtesy of

The new information that keeps coming forward sharpens the mind to how important sun protection really is not just for today but for the future.

The National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued a skin cancer prevention guidance document in 2011 that stated that employees who work outside should take the following action:

“Aim to prevent children and young people from getting sunburnt by encouraging them to seek shade whenever possible. When it is not possible, they should be encouraged to wear hats, other clothing and sunscreen to protect themselves. Policies should also encourage parents to provide their children with sunscreen.”

There are three main options for schools and nurseries to ensure that their pupils are protected from the sun whilst in their care:

1. Sunscreen – Apply sunscreen before going outside, it may be best to ask parents to ensure they apply sunscreen to their children before dropping them off to school due to possible claims of child abuse.

wellsbourne-community-primary-school-liverpool-coniston 03 small2. Sun Hats – Make sure all children bring suitable sun hats to school and nursery with them.

3. Canopies and Shade Sails – Purchase a shade and shelter structure for your premises, many canopies and shade sails offer high UV protection from the sun, allowing children to play & learn underneath without the need for sunscreen and sun hats. This may be the most costly option for schools & nurseries however, it will save you time you won’t have to worry about issues that can occur when applying sunscreen to children.

Below are some great sun protection downloads provided by Cancer Research UK for schools and nurseries:

Sun Protection Policies:
Nursery Schools & Pre-Schools
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools

Sun Protection Pack:
Download a fun Sun Protection Pack from Cancer Research UK, it’s perfect for encouraging children to understand the importance of staying protected from the sun. The pack includes a poster to show how your school is being “sunsmart”, an assembly plan enabling you to create your own “sunsmart” assembly and two lesson plans!

Download our canopy shelter and shade sail brochure

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us

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