We're calling on you, the people of Western Australia, to complete our quick and easy shade survey!
Our SunSmart team is seeking community feedback on the availability of shade at public outdoor places and open spaces in Western Australia. This includes schools, parks, playgrounds, skate parks, sport/recreation centres, swimming pools & public venues - in fact, anywhere that you've had a positive or negative experience with shade.
Sharing your shade story by completing our quick survey will help our advocacy efforts to improve the availability and quality of shade in the community.
The importance of sun protection & seeking shade
Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the major cause of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. This means that the majority of skin cancers in WA are preventable.
The SunSmart message encourages West Australians to protect themselves when outdoors with sun protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, shade and sunscreen.
Seeking shade is an effective strategy and, when used in conjunction with other measures, enables maximum sun protection to be achieved.
However unlike other measures, shade is the one form of sun protection that individuals cannot always provide for themselves. This means they must rely on whatever shade is available which is, at times, limited.
Effective shade can be created by a built structure or the natural environment. The benefits of shade from a skin cancer risk perspective are significant, with good quality shade reducing UV exposure by up to 75 percent. The availability of shade has been cited as an important component in the design and creation of safe and healthy communities.
The need for shade in WA
SunSmart Manager Mark Strickland emphasises that high quality shade in the community is crucial because we live in such a high UV environment.
"In Perth, we only get 15 days per year where the UV Index doesn't reach 3* - so it's important that public facilities and open spaces provide adequate shade year-round to protect West Australians from the harsh UV.
"If you've ever been to your local park or swimming pool and appreciated the shade, or lack thereof, we want to hear about it.
"As much as we'd like to hear of places where there's a demand for shade to be improved, we also want to collect stories of well-shaded spaces to showcase best practice."