The Cancer Council of Queensland (CCQ) has noted that the state has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with 370 cases diagnosed every day. Even just in Brisbane, there are 1,176 people diagnosed with melanoma annually. 

Clearly, it is imperative that businesses and schools make sure the appropriate shade structures are put in place to protect residents and visitors. Sun Safety Queensland states that most forms of shade can reduce ultraviolet radiation exposure by up to 75 per cent. Making sure shade structures are constructed with appropriate materials is important for sun protection, which is why the Skyspan™ range of umbrellas has membranes made of architectural grade woven PVC fabric, for strength and safety. 

Implementing sturdy shade structures in schools is a must, and the CCQ is currently facilitating this through a series of grants. In conjunction with the Department of Health, grants will be available to not-for-profit bodies and schools in Brisbane who apply before February 13 2015. 

Katie Clift of the CCQ expressed concern in a January 30 press release about having adequate shade protection for children in schools. 

"Childhood and adolescence are critical periods to manage UV radiation exposure and skin cancer risk – a very important time to intercept complacent behaviour," she said.

"It's important all Queensland organisations caring for children have access to items that assist SunSmart behaviour and reduce skin cancer risk."

The CCQ noted that according to the Cancer Council's National Sun Protection Survey, funding concerns were a major impediment to securing shade items. Through the SunSmart Grants Scheme, schools and organisations that look after children aged up to 17 can access funding for permanent and portable shade structures to achieve better sun safety. 

Skyspan™ stocks a wide range of fixed and portable umbrellas that can provide this protection, and last for many years. Warranties of up to 15 years ensure that these structures will provide safety for the long-term.