It is important to maintain safety on the playground by using materials and flooring that will allow safe play. This must be done without stripping the playground of its fun. Although the playground should be designed to be safe for kids to engage in any kind of approved play options, the playground should not be littered with protective barriers.
As a basic centerpiece for all playground flooring materials, playground flooring must be shock-absorbent. This excludes flooring materials such as grass, gravel, dirt, or concrete from the approved materials that can be used to lay the floor of a playground.
In this article, you will learn the highlights to look out for to guide you when choosing safe playground flooring.
1. Fall height
The flooring around different playground equipment should be different. This is because the impact of the feet on the playground flooring around this playground equipment varies. This difference must be reflected in the choice of playground flooring.
Before you consider the type of flooring for different kinds of playground climbing structures, there is a concept common to all of them -fall height. Fall height refers to the highest point above ground a kid can stand on. This is usually assessed in ratings which means that a fall height rating of say, 3’ means a child can fall from 3’ without sustaining serious injury.
A standard rating of 4’ is generally accepted as a safe rating for playgrounds. But in addition to the fall height, shock absorbency determined by the playground flooring type and thickness of the flooring is also a safety standard that must be met.
2. Playground tiles
Playground tiles are sturdy structures that smoothen the playground floor. When they are made of rubber, you do not have to worry about varying thicknesses with time and usage as it remains fairly constant. Also, rubber playground tiles offer the cushion needed for safe falls, and are slip resistant while allowing easy movement (running and walking) around the playground.
The fall height rating for playground tiles varies with tile thickness. A tile thickness of say, 2.5” can be rated a fall height of 6’ and is ideal for a commercial and residential playground. It is also best to choose tiles that are free of chemicals and lead commonly used to improve elasticity but are toxic.
3. Playground turf
Artificial grass can be installed on the playground floor to meet playground flooring safety standards by layering it. Ordinarily, grass alone is not a safe playground flooring material as its impact absorbency is poor. But with an underlayment, grass can be used.
This underlayment material is simply laid out before topping it with artificial grass san francisco ca. Like the other playground flooring materials, its fall height is dependent on thickness and also the type of underlayment used.
4. Playground mulch
Playground mulch is much easier to install but they usually require more maintenance than tiles. This is due to the varying thickness that happens with use. Frequent use or the weather can cause them to be displaced. Again, rubber is a much better playground mulch as it does not attract insects as a wooden mulch might nor can it cause a scratch.
The acceptable fall height standard for playground mulch is dependent on the thickness of the mulch and this measurement varies with where a playground is going to be set up — home or public. The thickness should be checked regularly for compliance with safety regulations and the harboring of sharp objects.
Most playground activities involve up and down-movement by kids. Safety should always be a priority, whether equipment like kings swings playground, monkey bars, gorilla playsets, flooring should always be of good material. For children under 5 whose walking steps may be wobbly, they may occasionally fall.