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.

Shade can be:

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

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pdf 2762 Kb
To help plan and design effective shade
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For local government
pdf 219 Kb
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