Nowadays, the safest playground surfaces for children to play upon are commonly made up from materials that are shock-absorbing and which must be periodically inspected and maintained.
Loose fill materials like as shredded rubber, sand, or wood fibre or chips are a number of the most renowned to be of the safest type. Surfaces which are manufactured with recycled rubber and other PVC materials, such as shredded tyres, typically provide appropriate cushioning and are also seen as being eco-friendly as are rubber softfall playgrounds.
Softfall among the Safest
Other kinds of playground surfaces that are shock absorbent and therefore rank as perfectly suitable include rubber mats or fine or medium gravel at the right depth. Materials which are not recommended nowadays includes the likes of concrete, asphalt, grass or soil. Grass or soil has gone out of favour because of the fact that, with time, it gets hard and packed.
Loose fill materials have to be looked after and kept at a suitable depth and never be installed over hard surfaces, like asphalt or concrete. The depth will vary depending on the material and the height of the equipment.
Upkeep is Important
Most loose materials usually become slightly compressed with time, and it can be difficult to see any hazardous materials, such as glass or nails, under them. They therefore need constant maintenance and replacement, except when it comes to the likes of recycled rubber mulch, pea gravel and sand.
Sand doesn’t break down, but can definitely be messy and affected by humidity and rain. Pea gravel will not attract any animals or insects, but is definitely hard to walk over and can be affected by weather.
Some More Options
Yet more other options come in the shape of lesser well known surfaces such as rubber tiling, or poured-in-place surfaces. Even though at first these are more expensive than some other surfaces, they need very little upkeep. These types of surfaces are also suitable for those in wheelchairs and will not attract any mould, animals, or insects.
Surface maintenance is extremely important and it is vital for caretakers to keep a constant check for any parts of matting that has pulled up, or moved due to the hard surface underneath being exposed. All types of surfaces should always be regularly cleared of any kinds of unwanted objects, which can go on to later cause injuries to any children who may be playing there.
There are national guidelines for all playground safety that includes detailed information on playground surfaces. Even in the case of home playgrounds, you will need the right kind of surface.
The most typical injuries which the safer type of playground flooring tries to avoid, are fractures and breaking of arms or hands and cuts or bumps to the head and other various parts of the body.
The more dangerous playgrounds of the past are long gone thanks to more modern materials and standards.