|Shade & Plants|
SAFE SHADE PLAY
According to the Queensland Cancer Fund, one out of every two Australians is likely to be affected by skin cancer in their lifetime. Almost two thirds of skin cancers can be attributed to over exposure to the sun during the first eighteen years of a child's life.
In Queensland, UV radiation levels remain at high to extreme levels year round, whether it is winter or summer. Increasing shade in areas where children play outdoors will minimise unnecessary exposure to UV radiation, and create greater potential to reduce the risk of skin cancer later in life.
Everyone is urged to wear protective clothing and sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun year round. Always consider the most practical ways of enhancing sun protection for children when playing outdoors, which includes seeking shade when outdoors. Providers of supervised play areas should have a sun protection policy and should adhere to their own regulations and guidelines on shade provision.
PLANTING FOR SHADE AND AMENITY
Trees are an effective, economical and attractive way to provide shade. Careful placement of appropriate trees and plants will increase the appeal and value of any play area. Other Shade options are covered in Shade for young children.
Planting different types of vegetation will increase the amenity of your play area. A wide variety of vegetation affords seasonal variations, colour, perfume and wildlife. Trees can provide shade, colour, seedpods, leaves and havens for wildlife; shrubs can screen or divide; and climbing vines can soften fences or provide shade over a pergola. Groundcovers (including grass) provide effective low UV radiation reflective surfaces.
Create a Children's Garden where beds can be planted with annual colour, herbs or vegetables. If you establish a 'bush tucker' garden, educate children to only eat plants an adult gives them, because not all plants, or all parts of plants, are edible.
Some species of plants can present hazards to children, and Kidsafe recommends using a horticulturist or someone with extensive local plant knowledge to assist you in the selection (or identification) of plants.
PLANTS TO AVOID
In general, avoid plants which:
If you suspect a child has swallowed part of a plant ring Poisons Information (PH: 13 11 26 ) to determine if the plant is poisonous and whether there is a need to seek medical help. If a child shows any symptoms of poisoning, call an ambulance (PH: 000). Alternatively, take them immediately to a doctor or hospital, along with another adult (competent in first aid) other than the driver. Take a piece of the plant with you. A list of the more commonly found poisonous plants is available from Kidsafe House.
A planting guide for shade trees, shrubs, climbers and ground covers is available from Kidsafe House.
Poisons Information Centre
Queensland Herbarium, Dept of Environment
Queensland Cancer Fund
Look for these groups in your local area:
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 02:17|