Shade is a practical, user-friendly form of sun protection. Well-designed and positioned shade can significantly reduce UV exposure as well as create cool, comfortable spaces for physical activity and recreation.
Shade can be:
- natural (trees, shrubs or shadow cast from nearby buildings)
- built (pergola, shade sails, etc.)
- a combination of these.
SunSmart recommends outdoor spaces include:
- sufficient shade to protect all people when the UV reaches damaging levels (3 and above). In Victoria this is generally from September to April
- shade protects users from direct and indirect UV
- a combination of built and natural shade
- shade that is easily accessible, attractive, in good condition and regularly maintained.
Things to think about when using portable shade:
- If using a large number of umbrellas or small tents, group them together to form a single larger shelter for better protection.
- The use of guy ropes in holding up canopies may create a tripping hazard for people walking past.
- Shade structures should not be placed where it may block emergency vehicle access.
- Umbrellas can be very unstable on windy days.
- Always make sure portable shade structures are put up properly.
Remember that shade does not provide 100% protection. Some of the sun's UV can still reach you in the shade by reflecting off surrounding surfaces. As a rule of thumb if you can see the sky, you are less than fully protected so always combine shade with clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.