Lots of kids have been injured on playgrounds. Many have fallen off equipment or landed on hard surfaces, etc. What playground materials help keep kids safe?
Each year, more than 200,000 children age 14 and younger sustain playground-related injuries that require emergency care. Approximately 20,000 of them have traumatic brain injuries.
If you’re planning to start a playground business, make sure you take preventive measures. Research the different types of playground materials, consider toy safety, and hire experienced staff. Teaching children how to play safely is just as important.
First things first, familiarize yourself with the best playground safety surfaces. Consider the following options:
- Artificial Grass
Children can easily lose their balance and slip or fall while on a playground. If there’s a slide or bench nearby, they can get serious injuries.
One way to mitigate these risks is to opt for artificial grass. This material is safer and more comfortable than rubber, looks good, and can last for years.
The best artificial grass for playground areas may also protect against pests and insect bites. Plus, it’s unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
- Poured-in-Place Rubber
Poured-in-place rubber requires minimal maintenance and can be customized according to your needs. Most brands feature a double layer that helps protect children from falls.
This playground material is suitable for both indoor and outdoor areas. Although it’s more expensive than other options, it’s durable and easy to use with ADA mobility devices.
- Engineered Wood Fiber
Another popular choice is engineered wood fiber. This type of surface acts as a cushion for falls and meets accessibility guidelines. Its natural look and low cost make it ideal for most playgrounds.
Since this material is slip-resistant, it can further lower the risk of injuries. Ideally, opt for virgin wood varieties as they’re less likely to contain contaminants.
- Rubber Mulch
A growing number of companies are offering rubber mulch products designed for playgrounds. This material comes in a wide range of colors, offers excellent slip resistance, and can withstand harsh weather.
With proper care, rubber mulch can last a decade or longer. However, it does require regular maintenance, so the costs can add up over time.
Beware that low-quality rubber mulch may contain wood, plastic, wire, and other contaminants. Research different manufacturers and ask about the production process so that you can make an informed decision.
- Pea Gravel
Pea gravel is safe for children and easy to install. It also absorbs shocks and doesn’t attract insects or germs. Plus, it may help limit weed growth.
On the negative side, this playground material isn’t ideal for wheelchairs. Since it’s typically used outdoors, you must constantly check it for broken glass and other foreign objects.
Explore the Different Types of Playground Materials
With so many options out there, choosing the best playground materials is anything but easy. Consider your budget and safety concerns, as well as the location of your playground business.
All in all, artificial grass is the safest option. Durable and easy to maintain, it’s suitable for most types of playgrounds.
Looking for other tips to keep your kids safe or build a successful business? You’re in the right place. Browse the rest of our blog to find out more!