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How Smart Playground Design Can Protect Your Child

May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, and it’s an issue that can affect both adults and children. As parents, we want to protect our children, and keep them healthy long into their adult lives. Precautions around sun protection can start young at your local park or playground.

Outdoor play helps promote an active, healthy lifestyle. It’s always a pleasant sight to see your children engaged in happy playtime with their friends as they run around the park or climb up on the playground. During these activities, it’s also important to keep in mind their protection from the elements, especially the strong sun in the Gulf South.

Applying sunscreen will help to block UV-rays and a well-designed playground with multiple shade options can also offer protection and reduce the risk of long-term skin damage.

Playground Roofs & Toppers

Here at Pelican Playgrounds, our team integrates sun protection into our commercial playground designs. There are so many options to enhance the aesthetic of your playground while also offering some additional playground sun protection. Incorporating turret-like towers, shade hats, themed toppers, or tunnels is a good way to work UV protection into the design, while still keeping the fun colors and themes for the children who use it.

We offer a 10-year fabric warranty for our shade hat structures, which are low-maintenance and can be added to your existing playgrounds. These are worth installing to create your safer play area (blocking 94% of sunlight) in Louisiana and Mississippi where the risk of sunburn is greater.

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Shade Structures

Fabric shade structures are a great way to protect children and adults from harmful UV rays in addition to sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. According to the CDC exposure to UV rays causes most cases of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Shade structures are important for lowering that risk.

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The breathable mesh fabric allows for airflow and reduces temperatures underneath the shade, making a more comfortable space for playgrounds, parks, courtyards, and more! By having these included in the design of a playground, it makes the entire area much more versatile and can increase the amount of sheltered space during the summer months.


We also recommend providing quieter areas at a playground where people can sit and rest to escape the heat and excitement. Pelican Playgrounds can provide a variety of permanent structures that can serve as a shelter, gathering area, or outdoor eating space.

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We encourage parents to advocate for safe parks and playgrounds for their families. If you’re someone who plans and/or provides community spaces – there are so many options to build upon the incredible service you already give the public. By including some of the elements above, you’ll provide the community peace of mind that adequate shelter is available. Consider where you may like to see improvements and feel free to get in touch with us today to see how the Pelican Playgrounds team can help.