Skip Navigation


This is an H3

Make shade!  There are many things you can do to make your yard a more enjoyable place for kids to play while keeping them safe from the sun at the same time.  Planting trees, adding a covered patio or even putting patio umbrellas over sand boxes and other play areas will protect your family and may add value to your home as well. Whether you plant it, move it, or build it, shade is an easy way to keep your family protected from the sun.

Whether your family plays outside in the same place each day, or you go to different areas to be physically active, there are many ways to help them stay in the shade with the help of trees, permanent shade structures and portable shade structures.

Keep in mind that shade is an effective sun safety measure, but it will not block all UV rays. Indirect rays can scatter in the atmosphere and reflect from surfaces such as concrete, sand and grass, therefore other sun protection measures should be taken as well.

For shade:

It is important to note that shade does not offer 100% protection from the sun. This is because the sun's rays reflect off of many surfaces and can reach you in the shade. For example, lawn grass reflects up to 2% of UV, concrete sidewalks reflect up to 8%, asphalt reflects up to 9%, dry sand reflects up to 18%, two-day old snow reflects up to 50% and fresh snow reflects up to 88%! For these reasons, it is very important to develop a multitude of sun-safe habits.

Click here for a list of companies that sell shade structures.

Have more questions about shade? Check out Skin Cancer 101 - Shade.


Fast Facts

In 1998, 73% of elementary schools in a national survey reported having at least one shade structure on school grounds.1 In a 2002 survey, 59% of middle and high schools reported having at least one shade structure.2

Students and staff spend one to three hours outside during the school day, on average.3,4

1Buller DB, Geller AC, Cantor M, Buller MK, et al. Arch Dermatol. 2002 Jun;138(6):771-4.

2Buller DB, Buller MK, Reynolds KD. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54:427-32.

3Foltz AT. J Pediatr Health Care.1993;7:220-225.

4Buller DB, Callister MA, Reichert T. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995;22:1559-1566.

^return to top

5 Signs of Skin Cancer Other Than a New Mole
While it's important to know the guidelines for identifying ... more>>>

Schools & Their Sunscreen Rules
News reports are full of stories about kids who come home blister... more>>>

Indoor tanning's popularity among teens going down, CDC says
Two new studies released by the CDC looked at the prevalence of ... more>>>

News Archive

Sun Safe Colorado Home Page