Children are being exposed to unhealthy sun risk in Sydney
playgrounds, with those in poorer areas facing the most
danger, according to a study.
Cancer Council NSW researchers visited 139 urban playgrounds
and found a worrying tendency for more shade over eating
areas than over the equipment where children spend most of
Another concern is a tendency for playgrounds in poorer areas
to have less shade than those in richer areas, according to a
report on the study published in the Australian and New
Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Playgrounds in the richest areas had 49 per cent coverage
overall compared with 13 per cent for the poorest areas.
Part of the reason for this is a lack of established trees in
But the study's authors, led by Caroline Anderson, point out
that permanent shade is significantly more effective than
They urge local government to make playground shade a
priority when developing and upgrading parks and playgrounds.
The report describes the study as concerning from a
skin-cancer prevention perspective.
"A greater investment in shade that filters UV radiation will
help to improve both the desirability of local parks and the
health of residents," it says.