By Korey Soderberg


Many parents, guardians and caregivers are aware of the possible threats associated with Playgrounds and Splash Parks, such as falling, spreading of germs, entrapment and more. However, one serious threat is often overlooked.

The Sun


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “Increasing intermittent sun exposure during childhood is associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer.” The exposure to the sun that children experience while playing outdoors, especially during the morning and afternoon hours when the UV rays are the strongest, can cause both short-term problems, such as sunburns and dehydration, and long-term problems, such as damage to the eyes and skin cancer.

Importance of Outdoor Play


Playgrounds and Splash Parks by Water Odyssey provide both physical and mental benefits for children. The first benefit, and most obvious, being physical exercise. Allowing children to run, leap, and jump around outside helps them physically develop and gain motor skills, which improves their overall thinking and learning skills as well. Also, outdoor play can reduce behavioral problems, help relieve stress, and lower children’s risk of developing anxiety and depression. Finally, outdoor play can help children learn and gain social skills through interacting with others. This helps them with building friendships, working on problem solving skills and most importantly, laughing and having fun amongst their peers.

Importance of Shade


Obviously, the Sun is an unavoidable aspect associated with outdoor play on Playgrounds and Splash Parks, however, it can be managed. Having the appropriate and sufficient shade covers and structures can help reduce the amount of exposure children receive from the UV rays and heat. Building a nearby shade structure at the park location or shading the Playground itself can encourage children to play longer or provide a space for resting and relief from the heat.


In addition to health concerns for children regarding the Sun, we need to focus on the threat of the Playground itself. Playgrounds by Superior Recreational Products are composed of all different materials that are susceptible to absorbing and holding in the heat. This can result in injuries from children getting burned by the equipment when climbing, sliding and swinging on the Playgrounds. On average, shade structures keep the Playgrounds 13 degrees cooler than the temperature outside, which helps prevent burns and provide protection from the UV ray exposure.



Contrary to popular belief, shade covers, picnic shelters and structures by Superior Recreational Products can be ascetically pleasing and customizable, which has influenced architects and designers to incorporate them into their design layouts. From tilt and spin umbrellas to sail shades, shade structures can be added to complete and compliment any Playground or Splash Park. Installing shade structures provides health and safety benefits not only for the children enjoying the Playgrounds and Splash Parks, but the parents, guardians and caregivers who want to protect their little ones.


Korey Soderberg

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