Safe playgrounds are a necessity for any child under the age of 12. Having somewhere to run and scream has virtually limitless benefits for not only them, but you. Making sure your child has a safe place to play can be intimidating; hopefully some of the following information will help. Here are some different types of ground cover to consider for your home or otherwise local play area.
Grass seems obvious for playground surfacing, but it bears considering nonetheless. It’s a very low cost option, and also a fairly soft one for them to fall onto. It can, though, be incredibly slippery and there’s ample chance of tracking mud into your car and/or home. As is probably obvious, grass is high maintenance, needing trimmed regularly and sometimes reseeded. Another less work-intensive playground surfacing would be turf or artificial grass. This is a much more expensive option, though as previously stated, it’ll save you time (and possibly money for a landscaper) on maintenance. Artificial grass doesn’t need watered, or cut for many years.
There is simply no substitute for having the right playground materials for our children to play on. Soft playground surfacing can make a huge difference when it comes to accidents. Having soft and safe surfacing can be the difference is a few tears and a serious trip to the emergency room for you child.
Safe Playground Materials
Moving on, we have sand. This is a more messy option, though it can be cheap and absorb falls very well. Animals typically see sand as an invitations to relieve themselves, and sand can typically get into socks, shoes, and hair. This may put up some warning flags, though it does soften falls if you keep it about an even foot or so deep.
Rubber mulch is usually made out of recycled tires that have been shredded up into small pieces. It does certainly provide a soft surface for children to fall onto, though it can provide a major choking hazard for children still young enough to put everything possible into their mouths. This playground surface option requires vigilance if children of that age group are to be playing on it.
“When playground surfacing is sub-par it requires vigilance and extra efforts by everyone to lower the chance of injury. This job could simply be done by having the right surfacing.”
Poured in Rubber Surfaces are a good option for soft playground surfacing. It’s the least work-heavy, but the most expensive. These are used in safe playgrounds all over, even some on residential properties, and they have the most bounce to meet children when they fall onto the safe, rubber ground. This “Pour in Place” soft playground surfacing option is great for children with disabilities as it is perfect for wheelchair accessibility and for use with other mobility tools. These poured rubber surfaces also come in many colors to match any landscaping that may already be in place.
The Best Option For Playground Surfacing
Engineered Wood Fiber is more expensive than typical wood chips, though it contains no sawdust and is in wide use today around the United States. Engineered Wood Fiber is typically on the pricier end of the cost spectrum, however it provides more cushion for children to topple onto than other mulches or wood chips. It is very important to use virgin wood in an Engineered Wood Fiber ground cover, otherwise there may be contaminants that could harm the children playing on it.
Children have a special but worried place in all our hearts, and knowing what to use to protect them is crucial. Here’s to safe playgrounds everywhere
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