Commercial Shade Canopies cool play equipment and surfacing that otherwise would be too hot to the touch this summer.

Early research on touch temperature limits provides the following guidelines when it comes to hot surfaces and water immersion:

120°: Burns after five to ten seconds in hot water for small children and the elderly.

140°: Burns after one minute of contact or hot water immersion for the average adult.

160°: Rapid burns and blistering after contact with a firm surface of this temperature or water immersion.

Touch temperature standards vary substantially with age, skin condition, and contact method. Two key parameters include:

  • What the material consists of &
  • The duration of contact with the hot surface or object.

Surfacing and equipment materials absorb and radiate temperatures that greatly exceed that of the air. Researchers at the University of Minnesota measuring asphalt temperature data found that the daily mean pavement temperature was substantially higher than the daily air temperature, with the highest recordings in June. The team concluded, “Daytime maximum pavement temperature greatly exceeds maximum air temperature, with surface temperatures of up to 145 °F in mid-summer, with corresponding maximum air temperatures of 95 °F.”

This indicates that surfacing of many recreational areas, e.g. playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc. is too hot for safe use during peak hours in the summer months of many areas of the United States. Fortunately, researchers have also found that the presence of shade, either by way of trees or shade canopy, greatly reduces these high temperatures, in some cases, by up to 20 degrees.

A multiscale analysis of surface temperatures in Arizona reported a significant drop in temperature of equipment and surfacing under the shade. “What Vanos and her colleagues found was striking…the rubber surface on which the playground was constructed, which was soft to cushion falls and colored green and black, was recorded at 87.2 degrees Celsius in the sun at noon, less than 13 degrees from the boiling point of water. In the shade of a tree however, that same surface was recorded at 42.2 C, and under the shade sail was measured at 46.7 C, both much closer to the air temperature of 41.6 C.”

Additional key findings included the following:

  • The highest temperature in a Phoenix area neighborhood was found on playground surfacing.
  • Children are more vulnerable to heat stress and high temperature than adults.
  • Shade of any kind is found to reduce temperature and improve safety.

Ideal for ball courts, pools and playgrounds, outdoor exercise areas and other recreational zones, Pro Playgrounds offers a wide range of shade structures to provide relief from the heat and protect those at play.