Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure, especially during younger years, has a strong correlation with the development of skin cancer in adults. Excess sun exposure can threaten lives. The strong, hot, and direct Australian sun makes this a particular issue and threat. The phrase “No Hat, No Play” is common for a reason. Staying protected and shaded from the dangers of the Australian sun is a serious matter, but following a few simple steps and advice makes it easier than you think.
Staying Safe in the Sun
With all the risks associated with UV sun exposure, you want to take the best steps possible to protect the delicate skin of children. While the best method of protection is to keep them out of the sun as much as possible, there are some additional steps you can take to stay safe in the sun.
Be Risk Aware
The first step in effectively keeping students and children safe in the sun is to be aware of what you need to protect them from and when. Children spend a large amount of time at school and in educational settings; they also spend a predominant amount of their time outside in peak UV exposure time during recess, lunch and other activities throughout the day. Be especially aware of high UV rating days when the risks are amplified even more.
Increasing Shaded Spaces
The best way to protect students’ and children’s delicate skin from the harsh exposure to UV radiation from the sun is the keep them out of it. Keeping them indoors all the time isn’t practical, though. With class breaks and other outdoor educational experiences, students have to be outside at some point. Providing outdoor shaded areas through structures, covered walkways, and natural protection (e.g. trees) allows you to still allow students to be outdoors in the fresh air, but while keeping them protected.
Teach and Practice Sun Safe Behaviours
Teaching students sun-safe behaviours from an early age will have a lasting impact. If students know the risks and the best way to protect themselves from those risks then they will be better equipped to help you keep them safe. Begin by teaching the dangers and risks associated with UV radiation, before moving onto the best sun-safe practices such as staying in the shade, wearing long sleeves and hats, applying sunscreen, and hydrating regularly. Always remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP!
Shaded Play Areas
Children love being outside. The fresh air and plenty of space of outdoor play make it hard to compare to anything else. Running around, climbing, and playing, or just having a snack; it can be hard to keep kids away. But as we’ve already seen, the dangers of excessive sun exposure can be lethal. Protecting children in the sun can be a hard task, though. Ensuring they wear sunscreen, keep hats on, stay hydrated is a never-ending battle.
A shaded play area or covered walkway is the perfect solution to help keep your children safe, while still allowing them the freedom to play outside. Shaded play areas are in use in schools across Australia, helping to keep children protected from the direct UV radiation of the harsh Australian weather, without restricting them to being locked indoors. They allow you to allocate a sun-safe space for children to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor play, without you having to worry and battle endlessly to keep them protected.
Stylemaster Patios are experts at constructing shaded play areas, covered walkways, and patio solutions for our home and commercial customers. We use individually selected and designed components and materials to guarantee that your shaded play area solution to tailored to your specific needs. The cost of building a covered walkway or shaded play area is more reasonable than you may expect.
Get in touch with Stylemaster Patios today to find out how we can make your school and the students it nurtures safer in the sun.