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UV Protection: Shade Structures


  • UV protection,
  • Physical environment,
  • Community,
  • Facilities & organizations,
  • Healthcare facilities,
  • Schools,
  • Workplace,

Build shade structures in outdoor spaces

How to implement

  • Increase permanent and portable shade structures in community settings, including around schools and workplaces, childcare facilities1-9 and in parks, playgrounds and outdoor recreation and tourism areas.4, 10
    • Create shade naturally by planting trees or artificially through shade structures.4, 5, 11

Example in action: To help encourage sun protection, the Pincher Creek Wellness Committee developed a portable UV tent rental system. Learn more about Pincher Creek’s story here. 

Healthier Together's Be Sunsible program includes a Shade Audit Tool to assess the risk of sun exposure and the potential need for artificial shade in and around Alberta workplaces. The tool can easily be adapted for other community settings.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sun safety tips for schools. Washington (DC): Department of Health and Human Services; 2016. Available from:
  2. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. What works. Cancer prevention and control: skin cancer prevention. The Community Guide. Atlanta (GA): CDC; 2014. Available from:
  3. Glanz K, Saraiya M, Wechsler H. Guidelines for school programs to prevent skin cancer. Atlanta (GA): CDC; 2002. Available from:
  4. National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE). Skin cancer prevention. NICE Guideline. London: NICE; 2016. Available from:
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent skin cancer. Washington (DC): Department of Health and Human Services; 2014. Available from:
  6. World Health Organization (WHO). Sun protection and schools: how to make a difference. Geneva (SW): WHO; 2003. Available from:
  7. World Health Organization (WHO). Sun protection: an essential element of health-promoting schools. WHO information series on school health. Geneva (SW): WHO; 2002. Available from:
  8. National Guideline Clearinghouse. Prevention of skin cancer. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); 2013. Available from:
  9. Saraiya M, Glanz K, Briss PA, et al. Interventions to prevent skin cancer by reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation: a systematic review. AM J PREV MED. 2004;27(5):422-466. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2004.08.009. Available from:
  10. Community Preventive Services Task Force, CDC. Preventing skin cancer: interventions in outdoor recreational and tourism settings. The Community Guide. Atlanta (GA): CDC; 2014. Available from:
  11. Toronto Ultraviolet Radiation Working Group of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition. A survey and recommendations of current sun-safety policies and programs: final report. Ontario: Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition; 2000. Available from:
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