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This is an H3

Whether you plant it, move it, or build it, shade is an easy way to keep students protected from the sun. Students can benefit from shade while they are outside for activities or just waiting for the bus. Trees, large umbrellas, tents or permanent shade structures can all provide shade to students and staff.

Shade can be low cost to install and can decrease air-conditioning energy costs for schools. Check with your power utility to see if they provide low cost or free shade trees through programs such as Trees for Green LA, through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Learn more about how to create beneficial shade at schools with the CDC’s new in-depth publication, Adobe Acrobat Shade Planning for America’s Schools.

A shade policy can describe how schools can ensure that a percentage of all school grounds are shaded. Shade policy can also recommend the addition of shade structures in new construction and renovations within the district.

Keep in mind that shade is an effective sun safety measure, but it will not block all UV rays. Indirect rays can scatter in the atmosphere and reflect from surfaces such as concrete, sand and grass, therefore other sun protection measures should be recommended.

Major construction projects to build permanent shade require funding, but school and community partnerships can support these actions. Districts can apply for grant funding and ask for financial support from businesses. Schools can enlist the help of parents, community members and local businesses that might sponsor sun safe additions to schools and school grounds.

Have more questions about shade? Check out Skin Cancer 101 - Shade.


Fast Facts

In 1998, 73% of elementary schools in a national survey reported having at least one shade structure on school grounds.1 In a 2002 survey, 59% of middle and high schools reported having at least one shade structure.2

Students and staff spend one to three hours outside during the school day, on average.3,4

1Buller DB, Geller AC, Cantor M, Buller MK, et al. Arch Dermatol. 2002 Jun;138(6):771-4.

2Buller DB, Buller MK, Reynolds KD. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;54:427-32.

3Foltz AT. J Pediatr Health Care.1993;7:220-225.

4Buller DB, Callister MA, Reichert T. Oncol Nurs Forum. 1995;22:1559-1566.

Promoting Sun Safety in California Elementary Schools.

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