Unsafe Playground Features To Look Out For

Unsafe Playground Features To Look Out For

Making sure children get plenty of outdoor activity is crucial for their healthy development. Playgrounds can be great places for a family outing, but parents should be aware of various safety hazards that may exist. Here are some tips to help you watch out for unsafe playground equipment so that you can keep your family safe.

“With a little bit of forethought and an easy inspection we can find out if where our children play is safe or not.”

First, check each park you visit for outdated or damaged equipment. While many parks follow Salt Lake City Playground regulations, some may require crucial maintenance to ensure safety. Older playgrounds with metal play structures may have rust or pieces of bent metal. A projecting piece of metal can be especially dangerous at the top of a slide. A child’s clothing could become caught when they attempt to go down

Sof’Fall Engineered wood surface is 100% ADA compliant and fully approved by multiple organizations that govern playground equipment safety. 

Check for outdated, damaged, or unsafe equipment

If the playground equipment is made out of wood may have splinters or cracks. You should also check to make sure climbing areas have appropriate fencing to reduce the risk of falls. Swings should be located at a safe distance away from climbing equipment or other playground attractions so that distracted children are not accidentally hit by another child at play.

Look out for unexpected hazards

Even parks that comply with all existing Salt Lake City playground regulations can sometimes pose dangers. Before letting your children play freely, check the area for any debris that could be hazardous. Broken glass or bits of metal could cause cuts if a child falls while playing. On bright summer days, make sure the surface temperature of the equipment is not hot enough to cause burns. It is especially important to check metal play structures, particularly slides, ladders, and railings, as these can become extremely hot in the summer months.

the importance of soft playground surfacing

Choose a park for your children that has a soft surface around the play area. Asphalt and concrete are too hard to absorb the shock of a child’s fall. Gravel can also cause injuries and a mulch surface can lead to painful splinters. Soft playground surfacing prevents injury and is necessary for a safe park.

Find an age appropriate playground

 

Some parks that are perfectly safe for older children can be dangerous for younger ones. Toddlers may not be able to safely climb equipment intended for older children, and they might be accidentally injured by an older child engaged in boisterous outdoor play. Salt Lake City has some parks that are designed for young children and toddlers. These can be excellent places to help children develop their confidence and gross motor skills without excessive risk.

Fortunately, the issue of playground safety has reached public consciousness. Communities like Salt Lake City are working with park planners and government officials to make sure children have safe places to play and grow. There is no need to keep your children inside in order to ensure their well-being. With care and supervision, you and your family can make sure that your playground outings are safe and filled with happy memories.

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA

Why Playgrounds Need Sof’Fall Wood Fiber Instead of Sand

Why Playgrounds Need Sof’Fall Wood Fiber Instead of Sand

Sand has long been a playground staple, but it’s not the safest or smartest material for a play environment. Sof’Fall crushed wood fibers form a stable surface that welcomes all kids to run, jump, swing, and tumble safely. There are many qualities that boost Sof’Fall above a basic sand surface. These features make all the difference when designing a reliable and economical playground that’s fun for everyone.

When it comes to building parks in Salt Lake City, Utah there are number of factors that need to be considered especially when dealing with something like the surfacing which is such a big part of the park’s safety.

“Fiscal responsibility is only one of the many factors that matters to [us] when it comes to building new parks… Indeed, our number one priority is making sure our playgrounds and all areas of our parks are safe for our children.”

New technology has allowed Sof’Fall to build the safest option for your children to play on. With all that is out there we can no longer settle for sub-par surfacing.

Accessibility

It’s important for Salt Lake City playgrounds to be places where all kids can enjoy themselves. Children who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes must expend a lot of effort to move through sand. They might be exhausted and frustrated before they even reach the play equipment. When installed correctly, Sof’Fall wood chips provide a sturdy surface that meets ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Standards. 

Safety

Safety is a priority for Sof’Fall, which is certified with the NPSI (National Playground Safety Institute). The greatest danger to kids on Salt Lake City playground equipment is falling. Falls account for 75% of playground injuries, so soft playground surfaces are essential. A Sof’Fall surface goes above and beyond playground safety requirements, cushioning falls from up to a height of 25 feet.

Sof’Fall chips are made in the USA from non-toxic, non-flammable virgin wood. Unlike recycled wood, it is not treated with chemicals. 

Kids can get rowdy, and no one wants sand in their eyes. Fortunately, fibrous Sof’Fall wood chips don’t hurt when thrown. They have been cured in a kiln, which makes them softer and helps them retain moisture.

Sof’Fall Inc. is certified by the International Play Equipment Manufacturer’s Association, an organization that promotes safety in play environments.

Cleanliness

The biggest complaint about sand is the mess. Sand conceals trash easily. Dogs and cats treat it as a litter box. Its tiny grains get inside clothes and shoes, ending up all over the car and the house. 

A Sof’Fall playground is cleaner, and it will typically have a drainage system to siphon off extra moisture.

Appearance

Sand is easily blown around by the wind. It gets mixed up with dirt and other foreign objects, creating an unattractive play zone. Sof’Fall is composed of virgin wood fibers that look natural in any Salt Lake City play environment.

Financial 

Sof’Fall chips are the key component to low maintenance, soft playground surfaces that won’t strain the budget. As a surface material, Sof’Fall allows more room for the best Salt Lake City playground equipment, with less upkeep than a sand playground. 

Sof’Fall carries $10 million in liability insurance. Their comprehensive Play Protection Plan is one of the best in the business; they boast a 10 year warranty and world class customer service


We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA

A City Planners Guide to Playgrounds In Salt Lake City

A City Planners Guide to Playgrounds In Salt Lake City

A great playground can make us all feel like a kid again, but to keep the actual kids safe, the adults need to pay attention to the details. Creating a play space for a community has its own set of challenges, especially since children of all ages and abilities will be using it.

“What’s a city planner in Salt Lake City to do to create a playground design that will help keep everyone safe while letting everyone have fun?.” 

 Public playground safety is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International. Being familiar with these standards is a foundation to start with before the design even begins. These include aspects like making sure equipment does not have hazards like sharp edges in it, that there no places a child can get entrapped, and trying to make sure children are protected from falls by design, and by a proper soft playground material. Also, the playground must meet the standards set by the American With Disabilities Act

CITY PLANNERS HAVE AN IMPORTANT JOB: They get to organize the places we live. They organize where we work, where we live, and where our children play. Following current safety standards and providing a safe place for our kids to play is an extremely important job. 

New Trends For Playgrounds

In the last several years, playground design has moved toward not just making structures that kids with challenges can use but designing a place where kids of all abilities can play together. These inclusive spaces let all the kids imagine, laugh, move, cooperate, socialize, and experience independence, all while keeping them safe and comfortable.

Over 200,000 children each year are sent to the hospital from accidents on playgrounds. The majority of those injuries are from falls. While creating a design that minimizes falls is an important component of playground safety, it is also important that the ground below is protective with soft playground material. Some of these include rubber mulch, artificial grass, play sand, and solid rubber.

Safer Materials For Playground Surfacing

Rubber mulch is popular because it absorbs more force than gravel or wood mulch, keeping little arms and legs and heads safer when falling. Additionally, it doesn’t degrade or absorb water. Planners will want to make sure any material used as a floor of a playground is non-toxic as well.

Playgrounds in Salt Lake City are more than just play equipment; they are an area for families and friends to gather and have fun. So, you should make sure you attend to other portions of the space too. For instance, are there trees planted to created shady areas? Is there a place for the grownups to sit where they can comfortably supervise the kids? Are there separate places for kids of different ages to play? And don’t forget the most important part of playground design: is it fun? Color, texture, and design that encourages safe risk taking are all components of fun.

Playground Maintenance

Finally, planners should budget accordingly for all the parts of a good playground, plus short and long-term maintenance for the whole area. The structure will have to be painted and inspected regularly and the rubber chips will have to be topped offed annually.

Playgrounds are wonderful community spaces. Good design and creative planning are keys to making sure your community’s is only a place of happiness and fun.

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA

Trends For New Parks In 2019

Trends For New Parks In 2019

We are living in a digital era where almost every activity is computerized. This has rendered nearly all people, kids alike, to be less active as they spend the bulk of their time behind computers. These days, even playing games outdoors is considered to be out-fashioned, considering that there are loads of indoor computer games to play during their free time.

“Not only by building more parks, but by building better, safer, and more engaging parks will we help our children get back to playing with one another outside.” 

 We hope this trend will start to change as there has been an entry of modern playground trends into the market. There are also new playground surfaces entering the market, most of which are made of soft material to ensure that the safety of the kids is always assured. The following are some of the new playground trends that Salt Lake City residents can expect to see in the coming months and years.

NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR PLAYGROUND SAFETY: Industry leading companies like Sof’Fall are helping to provide safer parks for our children to play on. An increase in playground safety can lead to increases in playground attendance and satisfaction. 

1) Electronic Interactive Play

Are you worried that your kids are always fixated on the television screens for most parts of their free days? Well, you need to relax as there are plenty of games that they play outside and still get the thrill that comes with engaging in computer games. Electronic Interactive Play is, without a doubt, one of the most engaging outdoor games that parks are incorporating in their playgrounds. The game tests speed, alertness, and coordination of the players.

2) PlayGrounds For All

Research shows that people of all ages are interested in participating in outdoor games. As a result, they have customized playground surfaces with non-toxic materials that ensure that people of different age groups can engage in outdoor sports. The move is proving to be successful as many people are embracing engaging in sporting activities as part of trying to control many of the common lifestyle induced ailments such as obesity.

3) Sensible and engaging games

The primary aim of games is to deliver a particular result to the participant. Many of the playgrounds in Salt Lake City have realized that there is a need for sports to be engaging in such a way that they enable the kid’s senses to grow. On that light, many playgrounds are introducing musical instruments, water features, rotating play equipment, and many other objects that will keep the kids engaged and in the process lead to holistic development.

4) Introduction To New Playground Equipment

Children require adventurous and challenging games on their day to day play. This will enable them to grow to responsible individuals who can face issues head-on without fear. Most playgrounds have realized this and as a result, rolled out games such as sky-high climbing nests that require expertise to engage in. Participation in such games has enabled the kids to hone their creativity.

The bottom line for many playgrounds is that they need to be upgraded to meet the desires of those for whom they were intended. Another big upgrade a lot of parks need is to have a safe and soft playground surfacing. By improving both safety and entertainment levels of our parks we can get more people outside benefitting from the joys that parks were designed to give us.

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA

Compaction Of Your Playground’s Soft Surface

Compaction Of Your Playground’s Soft Surface

Compaction happens naturally over the life and use of your Sof’Fall product. Composed of crushed wood surfacing, Sof’Fall comes from new wood that has been modified for this specific purpose. Because the wood is not kiln dried, it retains water. This makes the final material softer and causes it to act as a cushion. As you understand your Sof’Fall material and what compaction is and how to deal with it, it will prove very beneficial when compared to the neglecting these actions

While compaction entails a lot it essentially means that the Sof’Fall is no longer as effective as it was on the day that it was first installed. This is due to loss of material and compacting down the material still there. This is no cause for alarm because this is normal of most products. Through normal wear and tear things just aren’t the same as when they are brand new. 

“Planning for compaction of your of Sof’Fall and taking appropriate action will lead to immediate safety for our children and long term savings for your playground.”

When the amount of Sof’Fall drops below certain levels the Play Protection Warranty is no longer valid. Be familiarized with your warranty plan to make sure you never drop below that level. 

Calculating For Sof’Fall Installation

Installing Sof’Fall on any playground requires attention to detail but will certainly pay dividends. When considering the area you would like to fill, consider two calculations. Consider the needed square footage. Then, add in 30% more for compaction when calculating your total amount. Do this by dividing your square footage by .2025. This calculation will give you the number of cubic yards that you need when taking into account compaction.

Maintenance and Care

One thing to remember is that anytime the fill level drops below the fill line the Play Protection Plan Warranty is no longer active. So, being aware of factors that can cause compaction is important.

  • Be aware of a large fill area. More edges mean more fill gets tracked off the playground.
  • Weather, wind, and rain can cause shift and compaction.
  • Watch  high-traffic parks with care. Frequently used playgrounds require fills more often.
  • Know that mixing playground soft surfaces with Sof’Fall can also void your warranty.
  • As seen in Salt Lake City’s parks system, ADA compliance easily leads to compliance with your Sof’Fall warranty. Learn to stabilize surfaces to be slip resistant. Make the width between gates a least three feet wide.

Sof’fall Safety

Having a safe place to play comes down to two realities. They are a well-designed environment and safe playground material. Sof’Fall and Sof’Bounce compliment that by design. They are manufactured with high-quality concern to safety and preservation.

With Sof’Fall the inherent cost comes from using virgin wood. The long term protection is in not using recycled wood products. Frequently filled with insecticides and arsenic compounds, these wood by-products are not able to claim to be toxic free.

As you plan for your park make sure you keep compaction in mind. It is important for the safety of the children who will be playing there. Review the material of the Sof’Fall Warranty to know how often you will need to top off your playground surface. Being on top of these things will save you money in the long run and provide a safe place to play both now and in the future.

 

 

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA

Is My Salt Lake City Playground ADA Compliant?

Is My Salt Lake City Playground ADA Compliant?

One of the reasons for the American Disabilities Act (ADA) was to make all locations accessible for those who normally couldn’t get to them. This is especially true with playgrounds in Salt Lake City and across the country.

Playground materials needed to be evaluated. One reason was to ensure the proper components were properly set up. Another reason was to confirm there were enough soft playground surfaces to minimize injuries. 

“The goal of making playgrounds handicap compliant had a huge impact on new and existing locations. ”

Today’s playgrounds can be quite imaginative to handle all types of children. There may be some in Salt Lake City that encourage everyone to play together. But, is the local playground ADA compliant? Here are a few things to know to make a determination.

Sof’Fall Engineered wood surface is 100% ADA compliant and fully approved by multiple organizations that govern playground equipment safety. 

Accessible Routes

Outside of the play area, the soft playground surface must be stable, slip resistant and at least three-feet wide. Any grates or openings should be no larger than a half-inch, and the same goes for any changes in level.  On the way into the play area there shouldn’t be any objects that protrude onto the path more than four inches. This includes drinking fountains or signs.

The Play Area

Inside the play area, playground materials need to be easy for children using mobility devices or wheelchairs to traverse, Thus, there should be a 50/50 split between elevated and ground level components. Those higher items should be accessible via low-grade ramps. All surfaces should be examined through standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). In reviewing components, ASTM looks at the minimum characteristics and performance needed to be ADA compliant.

“Finding a safe place for our children to play needs to be a priority. Not just for our children, but for all children.”

Some of the most common ADA compliant playground materials include wood fiber or carpet, a rubber surface, and synthetic turf. When making a determination on the structure materials, items like weather and environment need to be examined.

For instance, a playground may not be ADA compliant if the materials get too hot in direct sunlight. In another example, changes may need to be made if the ground surfaces are not moisture absorbent.>

Becoming ADA Compliant

In many cases, it costs developers between $60,000 to $100,000 to make a playground ADA compliant. So, they may decide to do a partial update for access. Or they may not do one at all.

Should visitors feel a playground isn’t ADA compliant they need to report it. If the playground is based in a private business — for example, a preschool — it needs to be discussed with management. If it’s part of a park, then reports or complaints need to go to the township, county, or state

Should the issue not be resolved at those levels, then a complaint can be filed at the federal level. ADA.gov has information on how to register this with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the end, all children have the right to enjoy a playground. If they have trouble on their own or with mobility devices, then this needs to be addressed. For play helps them build confidence and happiness for a better life.

We've been catching children when they fall for over 27 Years

Get in touch with us to learn why our play area surface products are your best option.
Get your free quote today.

CONTACT US!

Call, email or send us a message from our online form. We're happy to answer your questions or send you an estimate.

Contact Us
reCAPTCHA