Controlling indirect UV radiation
Indirect UV radiation is reflected off surface materials or scattered by clouds or atmospheric particles. It can come from any direction, so it is difficult to provide shade which completely excludes UV radiation. Because indirect UV radiation can significantly increase overall UV radiation levels, it is important that it is controlled for effective shade protection. This can be done by:

Ensuring shade structures are of an adequate size
The larger the shaded area, the greater the opportunity to avoid indirect and direct UV radiation at the edges of the shaded area. Extending the shade canopy by at least one metre past the actual area of use decreases the risk from indirect UV radiation. Devices such as roller blind awnings can be useful for extending overhangs on existing structures.

Using barriers for side as well as overhead protection
Vertical screening with plants and trellises or a system of opaque louvres can protect against indirect UV radiation, while allowing ventilation and breezes. Side screening with appropriate quality shade cloth will also significantly reduce indirect UV radiation.

Choosing materials that reduce reflectivity
Soft surfaces and those with uneven finishes reflect lower levels of UV radiation. For example, vegetation absorbs and scatters UV radiation, decreasing its intensity. Use ground covers or grass instead of concrete paving.

Existing reflective surfaces can be altered to reduce indirect UV radiation. In a playground, concrete or bitumen surfaces can be changed to reduce reflectivity. Use rubber matting (soft fall matting) or synthetic turf to reduce reflected UV radiation.

Using vegetation to reduce scattered UV radiation
Research shows that vegetation situated on the northern and western sides of a shade structure will decrease the amount of scattered UV radiation reaching the shaded area. Planting should comprise dense shrubs and small trees (2 – 4 metres high).