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Category Archives: Safety In The Sun

How to ensure your garden is safe for young children

Why your office could benefit from a covered outdoor area

One of the worst things about working in an office is the fact you’re cooped up indoors all day with limited access to the outdoors.

Indeed, even when people do have an opportunity to go outside, such as their lunch hour, many choose to remain at their desks as there is nowhere suitable for them to spend their break.

In light of this, it is in the interest of employers to create outdoor spaces for their staff, as giving workers access to fresh air provides a number of benefits that could lead to increased productivity and improved business performance.


It’s unrealistic to expect people to consistently work at a high level for eight hours a day or more if they are not given time to rest and recharge their batteries. Providing an inviting outdoor space can encourage staff to leave their desk and enjoy their breaks in the open air, which may well give their performance a boost when they return.


Spending a whole day sat in front of a computer is not good for the human body. Taking a break from the screen can help to reduce the chances of staff suffering from problems such as eye strain, backache and repetitive strain injury, all of which could be a drain on their productivity.

Once again, creating an outdoor area will increase the chances of people choosing to spend their free time away from the computer and this can only be good for their health and long-term performance.

Keep it covered

Naturally, an outdoor space is only going to be attractive if it is sheltered from the elements – no one wants to spend their lunch hour getting soaked in the rain. A shade sail canopy is the ideal way to cover your outside space, as it will provide protection from wind, rain and the sun’s UV rays in the summer months.

What’s more, these structures are semi-permanent meaning they can be taken down should you require.

Sunburn – know who’s most at risk

Sunburn can affect everyone – and anybody who spends too long exposed to strong sunlight runs the risk of damaging their skin.

However, there are certain groups of people who are more susceptible than others and it’s particularly important for these individuals to ensure they stay protected. While it might be frustrating to have a friend who tans much more easily than you, looking after your health should always be top priority.

Pale skin

If you have naturally pale skin, it’s highly likely that you will be more affected by sunburn than people with darker skin. Individuals with red or blonde hair and light-coloured eyes tend to be the most at-risk.

This is because they have less melanin in their skin, which protects against UV radiation. However, even if you have darker features don’t take this for granted, as people of all skin types can still get burnt if they are exposed to strong sun for too long.


Each time your skin is burnt by the sun it causes damage that cannot be reversed and even instances of sunburn that happened in childhood can lead to skin cancer in later life.

Furthermore, the NHS has found that if you have two or more close relatives who have developed skin cancer, your own chances of contracting the disease may well be increased.


Babies and young children have soft and tender skin that is much more susceptible to sunburn than adults. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that babies younger than six months old should never be exposed to the sun and those over this age should be protected with sun lotion and sunglasses.

Stay protected

Thankfully sunburn is very easy to avoid if you take some precautions. Applying sun lotion and keeping your skin covered will go a long way to reducing the risks – as will using a shade sail.

These structures are designed to allow people to enjoy the outdoors while being protected from the sun at the same time.

Whether it’s a children’s playground, sporting venue, or family garden, a Shaded Nation shade sail is the perfect way to stay safe in the sun.

Schools turn to outdoor learning

It is becoming increasingly common for schools and nurseries to incorporate outdoor learning into their curriculum.

This allows children to spend time outside and experience a type of education that isn’t possible in the classroom.

Earlier this year, a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) found that outdoor play and teaching can make an important contribution to helping children make the transition from early-years education into primary school.

Researchers from Plymouth University, the University of St Mark and St John and the Institute of Education found that opportunities to spend time outside become increasingly limited as youngsters move into formal schooling.

However, they believe some of the tensions created by classroom teaching can be eased by the more independent and less supervised nature of outdoor learning.

The researchers argued that outside lessons and free play offers opportunities for children to learn independently, something which has become less common as schools focus on attainment and pupil testing.

“Outdoor learning had a different quality from the teacher-led lessons that took place in the classroom. Outdoor spaces offer opportunities for children to be more creative, inquiring and socially skilled, as they can pursue their own lines of interest and talk together,” commented Sue Waite, who led the project.

She added: “In classrooms, dominated by specific learning outcomes and teachers talking, it’s very easy for learning to become something which is spoon-fed.”

Many schools that employ outdoor learning use shade sails to protect pupils from the threat of sunburn.

These flexible and durable structures can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and only need to be taken down for two months of the year.

Here at Shaded Nation we can provide pre-made shades, or bespoke designs created to meet your exact requirements.

We are experienced in providing products for a wide range of customers from large businesses and public buildings to homeowners.

If you think your school could benefit from one of our shade sails, take a look at our online store.

New survey shows lack of skin care awareness

Half of Britons think their skin is darker than it actually is, according to new research by the British Association of Dermatologists.

This could lead to people putting themselves at risk of contracting skin cancer.

These statistics have been released in preparation for the start of Sun Awareness Week on Monday May 6th.

A new mole and sun advice roadshow called ‘Be Sun Aware’, which is supported by sun protection and skincare brand La Roche-Posay, is also set to launch.

The 1,350 people who attended last year’s event were asked a series of questions about skin cancer and sun safety.

Only 50 per cent of them correctly identified their own skin colour, which was then assessed by a dermatologist, with 48 per cent thinking their skin was darker.

The survey also found more people are actively trying to get tanned skin, despite public health warnings about the danger of sunbathing.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they find tanned skin more attractive than paler skin, compared to 56 per cent of people responding to a similar survey five years ago.

Younger people appear to be less aware of the dangers of the sun, despite increased education in recent decades.

A third of respondents in their twenties said they thought a tan is a sign of good health, compared with 21 per cent across all age groups.

A high number of men (65 per cent) incorrectly believed a base tan will protect against sunburn and skin damage, compared to just 22 per cent of women.

However, a base tan only provides minimal protection and is actually a sign of UV damage.

If you’re concerned about the health problems that can be caused by sunburn, a great way to stay safe while outside is to install a shade sail.

These products are proven to block out 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and allow you to enjoy the benefits of being outside without exposing your skin to danger.

New study highlights danger of sunburn

More than half of people with moles that are cancerous or at risk of skin cancer have a history of sunburn or sunbed use, according to figures released by the Mole Clinic.

Over the past year, the independent skin cancer screening clinic has examined more than 10,000 moles, half for the NHS and half for private patients.

It found that 31 per cent of these were either skin cancers or at risk of the disease and in need of treatment.

Of the people with these moles, 54 per cent said they have suffered from significant sunburn in the past or used a sunbed on a regular basis.

Many of the burns occurred in their childhood or teenage years.

“These figures are a timely reminder of the need to teach people about the dangers of sunburn and to discourage people from using sunbeds.

“Anecdotally, many people with skin cancer tell us about sunburns in their childhood or teenage years,” commented Dr Sarah Hull, an NHS skin specialist working with the Mole Clinic.

She added: “Clearly, people with a history of sunburn or sunbed use need to be very aware of their moles and anyone with a new or changing mole should see a specialist without delay.”

In a blog written for the talkhealth partnership, the Mole Clinic said that around 2,750 people died from skin cancer during 2010 in the UK, which is close to eight people per day.

Incidences of the malignant melanoma cancer have more than quadrupled in Britain over the last thirty years.

It is the most common cancer among the 15 to 34 age group and cases of the disease have increased at a faster rate in the last thirty years than any of the current top ten cancers.

One of the best ways to protect against the threat of sunburn is to install a shade sail. These structures are designed to withstand the harsh Australian climate and can block out 98.8 per cent of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Why not take a look at our online store?

Football star backs sun safety campaign

Fans of Brighton and Hove Albion will see a familiar face fronting a new sun safety campaign in Sussex this week.

Striker Craig Mackail-Smith has lent his support to the Stay Safe project, which aims to make people aware of the dangers of being exposed to the sun without taking the necessary precautions, local newspaper the Argus reports.

This message is particularly important in light of the recent hot weather, as many Brits across Sussex and the whole UK are likely to have put themselves at risk of contracting skin cancer by not protecting against the sun’s rays.

Mackail-Smith told the newspaper: “We are just asking people to remember a few simple things to protect their skin whilst they are out enjoying the sun.

“Using a high factor sun cream, remembering to spend some time in the shade and wearing a hat and clothing can all help protect your skin from the sun and reduce your chances of getting skin cancer.”

Mackail-Smith joined Brighton from Peterborough United in 2011 and scored 11 goals last season as the Seagulls came close to gaining promotion to the Premier League.

The Stay Safe scheme has been launched by Albion Community – which is a charity run by the football club – and is being developed in conjunction with the NHS in Brighton.

It will be handing out sun safety postcards, which contain tips on how to stay protected, as well as giving out free sun cream at a number of outdoor events in the city, including Sussex cricket matches and the Pride festival.

Bhav Shergill, a consultant dermatologist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, told the Argus people should ensure they regularly check their skin for any changes and to pay particular attention to moles, as they can indicate the development of cancer.

Want to ensure you and your family stay safe from sunburn? Shaded Nation are here to help. Take a look at our range of leading shade sail structures.

Do you know the difference between SPF and UVA?

A high number of people are unaware of what to look out for when buying sunscreen, according to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) and La Roche-Posay.

BAD and the skincare company asked people about their knowledge of sunscreen as part of wider survey about sun protection to promote the 2013 Sun Awareness Week, which will run from May 6th to 12th this year.

Only 38 per cent of respondents knew that the SunProtection Factor (SPF) is what predominantly protects against sunburn, while a product’s UVA rating helps to prevent skin from ageing.

A potential cause for this misconception is a rise in the number of moisturisers being sold that contain SPF, as people assume the added properties will prevent wrinkling, when it is UVA protection – which is often not included in these products – that performs this function.

Managing director of La Roche-Posay Yannick Raynaud said: “These statistics show that there is still a huge need to raise awareness about the need for sun protection and to educate the public about what to look for in a sunscreen and the difference between a product’s UVA rating and SPF.

“Our objective is to help raise awareness of the need for protection and decrease the risks associated with exposure.”

The survey found that a significant amount of people are currently unaware about the damage sunlight can do to skin and how to prevent this from happening.

A belief that their skin is darker than it actually is, that a base tan protects against sunburn and not knowing how to spot potential signs of skin cancer are some of the most common misconceptions Brits have.

Hopefully the Sun Awareness Week will serve to inform people about these issues and make sure they are prepared to stay safe in the sun during the summer.

One way to guard against the threat of sunburn is to install a shade sail – attractive and reliable shade structures that are specifically designed to block out 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Eight in ten people ‘never check skin for signs of cancer’

Skin cancer isn’t a nice thing to think about, but unfortunately it is the most common form of cancer in the UK.

This makes checking your skin for potential symptoms incredibly important.

However, worrying figures from a survey carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists and skincare brand La Roche-Posay show that 80 per cent of people infrequently or never look for signs of the disease.

Furthermore, 69 per cent admitted they would have no idea what to look for even if they did check their skin.

You can check for signs of skin cancer by examining your skin and seeing if you have any new or changed moles or unusual marks. If you do, it could well be nothing, but it’s always worthwhile to see a doctor just in case.

The survey also discovered that not knowing the signs isn’t the only obstacle to early diagnosis.

Just 50 per cent of respondents said they were happy to show a skin issue to their doctor, with the remaining half citing embarrassment, lack of time, fear of wasting the doctor’s time, not liking going to the doctor and fear of skin cancer as potential barriers.

Women were twice as likely to say they are afraid to waste the doctor’s time and three times as many females felt too embarrassed to go to a GP with a skin issue.

Despite persistent health warnings, sunbathing is still seen as the most popular way of getting a tan, with 54 per cent of people saying they sunbathe abroad and 35 per cent doing so in the UK.

The British Association of Dermatologists and La Roche-Posay survey was carried out at the 2013 ‘Be Sun Aware’ mole and sun advice roadshow.

Of the 1,350 people surveyed, 181 were advised to seek further advice from their doctor.

Skin cancer is something everyone should be aware of and take steps to avoid. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine.

Applying strong sun cream and covering up will protect your skin, as will staying in the shade.

An ideal way to do this is to purchases a shade sail – stylish structures that can block out almost all of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Curious? Look at our frequently asked questions section to find out more.

Five reasons to choose one of our shade sails

If you’re already aware of the benefits of a shade sail, you might have noticed there are a lot of different products on the market.

Here at Shaded Nation, we only stock shades created by Sail Shade World and we are confident that these are the best products available. Here are five reasons why.

Our shade sails are built to last and are designed to be a long-term investment. You can opt for either a permanent or semi-permanent structure. They can withstand most weather conditions and generally only need to be taken down for two months of the year, or when the weather is particularly severe.

Sun protection 
Our shades can block out 98.8 per cent of the sun’s harmful UV rays, meaning you can be confident your skin will be kept safe from the damaging effects of sunburn. Sail Shade World shades are manufactured to stand up to the harsh Australian sun and offer a level of protection many other products cannot match.

There are all sorts of uses for shade sails and here at Shaded Nation we try to cater to them all. Whether it’s a small shade to provide a relaxing spot in the garden, or a large structure required for corporate use, we can help. You can choose from our pre-made shades or have a custom design built to match your exact requirements.

While we pride ourselves on the functionality and durability of our products, we know that style is very important as well. For that reason, all of our shades have an attractive design that can add a contemporary feel to any location.

The shades we sell belong to our customers, so we try to give you as much choice as possible. Shape, size and colour are all up to you and you can even have your own name or branding included if you’d like to.

Want to find out more? Head over to our frequently asked questions section. If you’d like to see the range of products we have on offer, have a browse of our online store.