Seek shade

Looking up at a shady tree

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. Research shows that if shade is available people will use it.

Don't just use shade to protect yourself from the sun. For the best protection during the daily sun protection times, use all five SunSmart steps – clothing, sunscreen, a broad-brimmed hat, shade and sunglasses.

Shade can be:

  • natural (trees, shrubs or shadow cast from nearby buildings)
  • built (pergola, shade sails, etc.)
  • portable.

SunSmart recommends outdoor spaces include:

  • a combination of built and natural shade for people to use during sun protection times
  • shade that is easily accessible, attractive, in good condition and regularly maintained, and
  • surfaces that don't easily reflect UV, e.g. natural, dark or rough surfaces such as grass, soil and tanbark.

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 to hold 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.
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To help plan and design effective shade
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For local government
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