Shade sails can be a great choice for any school or playground, as they can block out harmful UV rays and keep a play area cool and comfortable during the warmest of summer days. They're a very economical choice for spaces that have been built without any type of roof or awning, and they're also easier to install than a fixed structure to provide shade. When choosing a shade sail for a school or playground, you may want something different than a shade sail you might select for home use. Note a few tips to keep in mind if you're in charge of such a purchase.

1. Placement

If you opt for a large, square shade sail that covers an entire play area, you may not need to worry about its placement. However, for smaller shade sails that won't cover an entire play area, note how to place the sail for maximum sun protection. For example, in the southern hemisphere, you want to place the shade sails to the north to block out the sun; in the northern hemisphere, shades should face south.

On a playground, you may also want to place the shade sail over an area that would otherwise cause a glare or to have the sun in someone's eyes, such as over a basketball hoop. Don't assume that putting a shade sail in the exact center of a play area is the right choice but consider carefully how it will provide maximum shade and comfort.

2. Note the UV blockage

While a shade sail will provide some protection from the sun's rays no matter what, note that not all sails are alike when it comes to the actual protection they offer from UV rays. Different colors affect sunlight differently, so the bright colors you may want for your school or playground may not block out as many of those harmful rays as a darker color would. Some materials may also have a tighter weave that blocks out more sunlight than others. Look for the actual UV blockage factor when choosing a shade sail for a school or playground, for maximum protection.

3. Waterproofing

Not all shade sails are waterproof, as some materials may allow water to easily drip through. If you are putting up a shade sail over a kindergarten play area where children must be out every day no matter the weather, invest in a waterproof material. This will keep them dry and protected as much as possible even during wet weather.

Contact shade sail suppliers, like Shades of Blue Shade Sails, for more information and options.