Over the last decade, Americans have become more aware of the dangers of exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. The increases in the frequency and severity of skin cancer have become alarming. According to Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation, statistics state that one American develops skin cancer every thirty seconds and over one million people in the United States will develop skin cancer each year. In addition, skin cancer kills one American every hour!
The awareness and concern for skin cancer and other harmful affects of the sun’s rays have caused an increasing trend of developing and incorporating shade structures in today’s playgrounds. Building shade structures provides protection for children playing under the sun’s UV rays and drastically decreases the risk of skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology is contributing to prevent skin cancer by offering a Shade Structure Grant Program that offers grants of $8,000 to fund permanent outdoor shade structures in playgrounds. With the current global warming crisis, it is imperative that future playgrounds provide shade structures to protect the future from the harsh affects of the sun.