June 03, 2021

Keep Your Cool: Five Reasons to Add a Shade Structure to Your Park or Playground

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPSS) conducted a study on playgrounds across the United States. They discovered less than 5% of playgrounds and outdoor recreation areas provided complete protection from the hottest times of the day. About 30% of playgrounds had partial shade, and more than 60% of outdoor play areas were fully exposed to direct sunlight.


The Skin Cancer Institute estimates 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV rays from the sun. Fortunately, people can find protection from UV radiation at parks and playgrounds when you add shade structures. Read on and learn five ways shade structures can provide protection and preserve the play experience for children and families. 

1. Playground Shade is a Great Sunblock

Sunscreen lotions offer solid protection from UV rays, but you don’t always have a bottle with you when you need it. Playground shade structures from GameTime effectively block up to 97% of UV rays. They’re a great substitute when you can’t reach for a tube of SPF 50.

People sometimes let their guard down during cooler weather, but prolonged exposure to UV rays in the fall or winter can increase your risk of UV-related skin damage. Shade structures on your playground or in your park are year-round protection from the sun.

2. Keep Singing (and Playing) in the Rain

Park shelters and fabric shade structures are great barriers against UV exposure, but they protect from other elements, too. Find shelter (pun intended) from wind, rain, and even snow with park and playground shades. The right type of shade product can help you enjoy a day in the park, no matter the weather. 

3. Bring Down the Temperature

Adding a shelter or pavilion to your park provides shady spaces for people to gather, rest, and socialize. The shade, combined with airflow through the shelter's open ends, reduces the overall temperature of the social space. 

Freestanding and integrated fabric shades for playground equipment keep children cooler while playing, and it also reduces the temperature of the equipment itself. GameTime shade products cool an area by as much as 25-degrees Fahrenheit (15-degrees Celsius).

4. Stay Active and Play Longer

When children are cooler, they play for longer periods of time. The longer children play, the more benefits they enjoy from being active, social, and creative. Likewise, adults benefit from enjoying nature, gathering with friends and family, or exercising outdoors. By keeping all outdoor recreation areas cooler with shade structures, you can help everyone enjoy more of what they love to do outside.

5. Protect Your Investment

When you purchase playground equipment or outdoor fitness products, you’re making a long-term investment in the health and wellness of your community. Rain, sleet, hail, and sun can cause damage over time. With shade structures, you can help extend the life and functionality of your outdoor recreation equipment.

We’ve Got You Covered

From massive fabric shade structures that cover entire play areas to integrated shade on fitness equipment, GameTime offers a full range of shade and structure products to keep your outdoor recreation areas cooler and more comfortable. With the right combination of shade, you can help protect people from harmful UV exposure, increase their comfort level, and encourage them to be more active for longer. 

To learn more, contact the GameTime shade expert in your neighborhood.