Schoolyard Shade and Sun Exposure: Assessment of Personal Monitoring During Children's Physical Activity

Jennifer K. Vanos, Grant R. McKercher, Kylie Naughton, Marc Lochbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Childhood exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a major risk factor for the development of melanoma later in life. However, it is challenging to accurately determine personal outdoor exposure to UVR, specifically erythemally weighted UVR (UVE ry), due to technological constraints, variable time–activity patterns, and the influence of outdoor environmental design. To address this challenge, this study utilized mobile and stationary techniques to examine the UVE ry exposures of 14 children in a schoolyard in Lubbock, TX, in spring 2016. The aims of the study were to examine the influence of artificial shade on personal UVE ry exposures and to assess full sun exposure ratios (ERs) within the same playground microenvironment. On average, personal wrist dosimeters worn during play in the sun measured 18% of the total onsite UVE ry measured by a stationary UV pyranometer. Shade was found to significantly reduce the personal UVE ry exposures by 55%, UVB280–315 nm exposures by 91%, and the overall solar radiation by 84%. Substantial benefits can be garnered through focused design of children's recreational space to utilize shade—both natural and artificial—to reduce UVR exposures during play, and to extend safe outdoor stays. Finally, although the wrist is a practical location for a dosimeter, it often underestimates full exposures, particularly during physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1132
Number of pages10
JournalPhotochemistry and photobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Schoolyard Shade and Sun Exposure: Assessment of Personal Monitoring During Children's Physical Activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this