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Shaded Nation

Shaded Nation – Shade Sails

New product warns when sunburn is close

One of the main problems with sunburn is that you can never quite tell when it is going to occur.

Well, students at Michigan Technological University have developed a new product that could help to solve this problem.

They have created a patch that can be attached to your skin and will show you when you’re most at risk of getting burnt.

The patch is skin adhesive and UV sensitive, it displays an image that will slowly disappear as it is exposed to the sun’s rays. Once the image has vanished you will know it’s time to seek shade to avoid being burned.

The researchers have produced three versions of the product to take into account the fact that people have different skin types and not everyone burns at the same rate.

As the patch is UV sensitive, it will ‘notice’ when someone is in the shade or has applied sun lotion, meaning it provides an accurate picture of total damage.

Megan Frost, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, said: “There are other personal UV monitors out there, but what makes this one unique is that it’s extremely simple and inexpensive.”

The patch received the Best Overall Award in the invention disclosure competition at Michigan Technological University’s 2013 Undergraduate Expo. If made commercially available, it would be inexpensive to produce – costing just 13 cents (eight pence) per patch in materials.

It is thought the product could be ideal in helping parents ensure their children are staying safe while playing outside in the sun and would also be useful for protecting the tender skin of babies.

Sunburn is a painful and irritating condition that is proven to be directly linked to skin cancer. The best way to avoid getting burnt is to stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to be cooped up indoors. A shade sail is the perfect way to enjoy being outside, while staying protected from the sun at the same time.

Here at Shaded Nation we provide shades made by Sail Shade World, which can block out nearly 99 per cent of harmful UV rays. Click here to learn more.

Stay safe in the sun with a Premium shade sail

If you’re searching for a durable, reliable and high-quality shade sail structure, look no further than Shaded Nation’s Premium range.

We only supply structures created by the renowned Australian manufacturer Sail Shade World and our Premium selection provides some of the best quality products on the market.

These structures are designed to turn an ordinary environment into an extraordinary one, while providing up to 98.8 per cent protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays at the same time.

They are suited to a wide range of requirements and can provide a welcome shaded spot over a children’s playground, decked area, outside a commercial space or in a family garden.

While functionality is key, aesthetics have not been overlooked and the Premium range combines a stunning appearance with practicality.

Our shade sails are made using the latest equipment, techniques and technology and every detail has been taken into consideration.

Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. Heavy-grade commercial knitted fabric that looks and feels great
2. Seat belt edge webbing ensures reliability and durability
3. Interlocked and double-stitched seams mean corners will not fail
4. Anti-rust rings
5. UV stabilised thread that will not deteriorate in sunlight

What’s more, all of our shades are fully engineered and insured against British standards and eurocodes, meaning you can be sure you’re investing in a quality product that will last the distance.

We are confident in our shade sails and for that reason each structure we sell is covered by a ten-year warranty.

All of our clients have unique requirements that we are happy to fulfil. You can purchase a pre-made shade or opt for a bespoke design depending on your preference. Colour, size and shape are all up to you and you can even add a personal touch by having your own name or branding stitched on to the fabric.

Installation is straightforward and everything you’ll need is provided along with full instructions.

Visit our online store to take a closer look at the premium range.

Some things you might not know about sunburn

It’s fair to say that most people suffer from sunburn at some point in their life.

In the majority of cases it’s little more than an annoyance for a few days before fading away. However, there is a proven link between sunburn and skin cancer, which means it is vitally important to avoid getting burnt whenever you can.

The whole subject of tanning and sun exposure seems to have given rise to a lot of myths and misinformation, which could mean people are not taking the necessary precautions. We take a look at some of these misconceptions below.

A tan is healthy 

Many people see a tan as an indication of good health, but this isn’t necessarily the case. While contact with the sun’s rays is needed for vitamin D, overexposure is never a good thing.

Any form of tan indicates that your skin has been damaged by the sun and just because you don’t get burnt it doesn’t mean your skin isn’t being affected.

A base tan acts as a form of protection 

Another common misconception is the idea that developing a ‘base tan’ provides protection against sunburn. Indeed, in a recent survey by the British Association of Dermatologists and skin care company La Roche-Posay, found 65 per cent of men and 22 per cent of women incorrectly thought having a base tan would limit their chances of getting burnt.

However, the reality is that a base tan only provides a minimal level of protection and shows the skin has already been damaged.

You can’t get burnt on a cloudy day 

You might not know it, but it’s still possible to get sunburn even if the sun is hidden by clouds. This is because it’s actually the UV radiation in the sun’s rays that burns people’s skin, rather than the temperature – and these rays can penetrate cloud cover.

Looking for a way to enjoy being outside without having to worry about sunburn? A shade sail from Shaded Nationcan block up to 98.8 per cent of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Brits ‘need to be careful in the sun’

People in the UK love a bit of sunshine and because they are so used to dreary weather, the majority of Brits don’t hesitate to strip off and make the most of a good day.

However, while lying on a beach or having a water balloon fight with your friends can seem like a great way to spend your day, there is a serious side to the sun. And, if individuals don’t respect it, their health is in danger.

Dr Dawn Harper, one of the doctors on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, said sun protection is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. Indeed, she visited the south Yorkshire city of Sheffield to bring this message home.

A recent survey found 60 per cent of residents in the city use out-of-date sun cream, while 55 per cent don’t apply lotion often enough when they are outside.

“Brits need to take sun protection seriously. Malignant melanoma is the fastest rising common cancer in the UK and is particularly high in younger people. Shockingly, allowing your child to play in the sun unprotected for just ten minutes is a much higher risk than allowing them to smoke a cigarette,” Dr Harper stated.

Because of this, the expert is encouraging people to “stay safe and slap on a capful” if they do plan to lie in the sun. Indeed, she remarked the regular use of sunscreen up until 18 years of age reduces the lifetime risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by 80 per cent.

Of course, there are other ways for people to stay protected. For example, they could have a bespoke shade structure created for their garden, which means they could still enjoy the sunshine while also staying safe.

These stylish and contemporary designs will brighten up a space and can cover almost anything – such as a small garden patio, an outdoor seating area or a swimming pool.

To find out more information about custom made shade sails, check out Shaded Nation’s website.

Get outside for the summer of wildlife

You might not think there’s much to see in the UK when it comes to wildlife.

While we don’t have lions, tigers, elephants and bears, there are still plenty of interesting and exciting natural wonders to be found on British shores.

The next few months could be the ideal time to get out and sample these wild delights, as the BBC has launched its Summer of Wildlife campaign. A number of programmes will be shown across the broadcaster’s channels in the coming months that are designed to encourage Brits to get outside and learn about the wildlife on their doorstep.

We take a look at a few ways you can enjoy the UK’s wild side below.

Out and about 

No matter where you live in the UK, you shouldn’t have to travel too far to find some interesting wildlife. Even in a seemingly concrete jungle like London, you can make the trip to Richmond Park and see deer and a variety of bird species.

Some of the best places to see wildlife are Scotland and Wales, where the rugged terrain and lower density of people allows rarer species like the golden eagle, red squirrel and pine marten to live undisturbed.

Nature at home 

You can even enjoy British wildlife from the comfort of your own home. If you have a garden you’ll almost certainly be able to spot a few species of bird and putting out feeders will allow you to attract even more.

Looking out for all the different types of insects and creepy crawlies that live in the garden can be fun for children and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a mammal like an urban fox or hedgehog.

Stay shaded

However you choose to enjoy the summer of wildlife, make sure you and your family stay protected from the threat of sunburn.

One of the best ways to do this is to purchase a sail shade for your garden. These structures can block out almost all of the sun’s damaging rays and will provide you with peace of mind as you enjoy the outdoors.

Six-year-olds ‘want sun tan’

Children as young as six want to get a tan this summer, according to a new survey.

A poll carried out on behalf of Superdrug revealed that 50 per cent of youngsters aged between six and eight would like to have more tanned skin. What’s more, a third claimed they will sunbathe at every available opportunity.

These statistics are worrying, as they suggest a lack of awareness about the dangers of the sun in children across the country. Furthermore, the skin of youngsters is more vulnerable to sunburn and there is a link between getting burned as a child and developing skin cancer in later life.

A fifth of the kids surveyed said they plan to spend time out in the sun without applying any sun cream whatsoever.

“These findings are really alarming as they show that children have little regard or knowledge of the dangers of the sun, or the consequences of spending time in the burning sun without protection,” stated Richard Cryne, Superdrug’s sun care buyer.

He added that the average person receives 80 per cent of their life-time exposure to the sun before the age of 18, meaning that good childhood habits are essential when it comes to staying safe.

To try and raise awareness of this issue among children Superdrug is working alongside skin charity Skcin and the Sun Safe Schools campaign to spread the message about the dangers of sunburn.

To protect their children from the sun, an increasing number of schools, nurseries and families are installing sail shades. These constructions are specifically designed with sun safety in mind and can block out as much as 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Here at Shaded Nation, we have extensive experience in providing sail shades for a wide range of clients and can offer pre-made structures or bespoke designs depending on your requirements.

A sail shade allows you and your children to have the best of both worlds – enjoying the outdoors, while staying safe at the same time.

Tomatoes ‘can help protect against sunburn’

Whether it’s part of a full English breakfast, on the base of a pizza or in a sandwich, the tomato is a fine addition to any meal.

However, new research has revealed the humble fruit is more than just a tasty treat, as it may contain properties that help to combat sunburn.

Dietitian Juliette Kellow told the Mail Online that in a study of UK adults, those who ate five tablespoons of tomato puree each day were a third (33 per cent) more protected from the sun’s rays than those who didn’t.

This is because tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which gives them their red colour and also makes human skin more resistant to sunlight.

Somewhat surprisingly, processed and cooked tomatoes have more lycopene than fresh ones and your body finds it easier to absorb. The antioxidant is also present in pink grapefruit and watermelon.

That’s not the only thing tomatoes have got going for them, however. The study also found eating the fruit can boost levels of procollagen, which helps to prevent skin elasticity, ageing and wrinkles.

While the findings of this research are interesting, it’s important to remember consuming tomatoes will only go a small way to protecting your skin. Even if you eat the fruit for breakfast, lunch and tea the chances are you’ll still get burnt if you spend too long out in the sun without taking the necessary precautions.

This has been stressed by Nina Goad of the British Association of Dermatologists who commented: “Studies have shown that various foods may be able to provide limited protection.

“However, the level of protection is marginal and no ingredient has been identified that would act as a comparable substitute for conventional sun protection methods.”

The best way to stay safe in the sun is to stick to the shade. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be stuck indoors all day, as a shade sail structure from Shaded Nation lets you enjoy the best of both worlds.

Want to know more? Click here to find out.

Stay safe during UV Awareness Month

People like to get out and about in the summer months, especially if the weather is good.

Whether it is going for nice walks in the country, checking out the local beach or simply buying a deckchair and enjoying the backyard, there are plenty of ways for individuals to make the most of the sun.

Stay safe in the sun

However, everyone needs to make sure they look after their health and protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is a massive part of this. July is UV Awareness Month in the US, as organisations up and down the country seek to dispel some of the myths about the sun.

Lisa Richman, executive director of the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, told the Palm Beach Post that the preventable disease claims the life of one person every 50 minutes.

“The sun is necessary for life. It gives us the light and heat we need to survive. However, too much exposure to UV rays from the sun can lead to skin cancer – especially melanoma, the deadliest form,” she added.

Don’t put your health at risk

There are a number of measures people can take to limit their chances of contracting skin cancer. These include covering up, wearing a hat and applying sun block to any unprotected measures.

Individuals are also encouraged to regularly check their skin after they’ve been out in the sun to make sure there are no changes in size, texture, shape and the colour of any blemishes they have.

A more long-term solution, however, would be to have a shade sail installed. The structure offers protection throughout the year and means individuals can enjoy the sun without worrying about getting burnt.

On top of the protection offered, the shades also add a stylish edge to any outdoor space and are perfect for both families and businesses. They come with UV stabilised thread, seat belt edged webbing and heavy duty, rust-proof marine-grade stainless steel rings.

Find out more about these cost-effective structures on the Shaded Nation website.

Oatmeal baths ‘can help to soothe sunburn’

aking a dip in an oatmeal bath might not sound very appealing, but it could help to ease the painful effects of sunburn.

This is according to David Leffell, a professor of dermatology and surgery at Yale Medical School in the US.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, he said oatmeal contains both soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which can combat the soreness and itchiness that often follows sunburn.

However, it’s important to ensure the bath is cooled before you get in, as getting scolded by hot water is the last thing you want if your skin is already burnt.

Dr Leffell also warned that some remedies that are commonly touted on the internet, such as applying tea leaves and yogurt, should be approached with caution as there is little scientific data to suggest they will have any sort of impact.

“My attitude in treating sunburn is that you can try this and that but the most important thing is to moisturise,” he stated.

The Yale professor recommended soothing sunburnt skin with a cream that contains aloe vera as this is more hydrating than some of the gel products that are on the market at the moment. Dr Leffell added that anyone whose skin develops large blisters or suffers from a fever after spending too long out in the sun should contact a doctor.

While taking a soak in an oatmeal bath might be a last resort if you’re suffering from a particularly sore burn, the best course of action is to do your best to avoid damaging your skin in the first place.

Relaxing under a shade sail structure is the perfect way to do this. These canopies are specifically designed to block the sun’s UV rays while providing a cool and pleasant space in which to enjoy the outdoors.

When you’re not being protected by a shade, make sure to cover your skin where possible and regularly apply sun lotion to any areas that are exposed.

Sunshine on the way in July

This July is set to be a hot one, according to the UK Met Office .

Forecasters at the organisation have predicted low levels of rainfall and high temperatures for much of the UK over the next few weeks, which is sure to be welcome news for the majority of Brits.

A Met Office statement said: “There is reasonable confidence that high pressure will build, giving fine and dry weather across most parts of the UK from Friday (July 5th) onwards, with a mixture of variable cloud and sunshine.”

So, it would seem the sun is finally on its way after what has been a very miserable 12 months weather-wise. Last year’s summer was one of the wettest on record and was followed by a bitingly cold winter. That wasn’t all though, as many parts of the UK suffered from unusually low temperatures in spring, with snow still lining the ground in March and April in a lot of areas.

However, that is all just a memory now, so many people will be looking to make the most of this month’s good weather while it lasts and there are plenty of ways you can choose to enjoy the sunshine.

July is a great time of year for festivals and these events are a lot more fun when you’re not squelching about in the mud in your wellies. T in the Park, Wireless, Lovebox and Latitude are some of the more well known gatherings that will be taking place this month.

If festivals aren’t really your thing, why not make the most of the weather closer to home? There’s nothing better than having friends and family over for a BBQ in the sunshine and July looks like the time to do it.

However you choose to enjoy the heat, don’t let sunburn ruin your fun. A great way to stay safe is to install a garden shade sail. Not only will one of these canopies protect you from the sun’s rays, they look great and can boost the value of your home as well.