Providing shade for your kids play areas
In Australia, the level of the suns ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) are some of the strongest in the world. The serious concerns with ultraviolet radiation are that it causes skin cancer, which can be deadly. Our skin is affected by UV rays and every time our skin is exposed to sunlight, our skin absorbs these rays and "remembers" them, so a lifetime of sun exposure does increase the risk of developing skin cancers. Our skin can be damaged without our skin burning so sometimes we are unaware it's even happening. Even on cloudy days, UV rays are strong and can damage our skin. With these facts in mind, it can be of great concern to parents and the desire to protect their little ones from sun exposure is natural. Luckily, you don't have to go to extremes and keep the kids indoors constantly (this would not be good for them either!) So how can you make their outdoor play sun safe and minimise those harmful UV rays?
Kids skin is more thin and delicate than adults skin. Babies under 12 months should not be exposed to direct UV and must be well protected from the sun. We should take great care with the amount of sun exposure our kids get and we want to create life long habits so that it's just a part of life and living in Australia that we cover up and use sun protective measures when outdoors. Sunscreen, wide brim hats, protective clothing, sunglasses, staying out of the sun from 10 -2pm and not being out in the sun for extended periods are ways that can reduce UV exposure. Because kids love to play outside in sandpits, swimming pools, on play equipment or on the patio, it's vital that these areas are well shaded to protect from direct sunlight. When it comes to providing shade in your yard or in areas around your house, consider installing a shade sail. A shade sail can provide instant shade over play areas and patios. High quality shade sail fabrics can block out 98% of harmful UV rays. Keep in mind that darker colours generally block out more light than light colours do, which means that you'll get more shade and protection under a darker coloured shade sail.
If you set a good example yourself of covering up in the sun, your kids will likely copy. Protecting your kids from the sun is vital for their skin health for life. Providing shaded areas for the kids to enjoy the outdoors is a great idea and is essential in Australia.