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3 Reasons Why Playgrounds Need a Safety Surface

By Whirl Construction (485 words)
Posted in Safety Surfaces on April 15, 2015

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When it comes to deciding why playgrounds need a safety surface and which material to use, there are a few details to consider. Firstly, the amount of area covered by the safety surface should extend twice as far as the height of the swings, monkey bars, or other equipment. Secondly, it needs to be made of a soft, cushiony material in order to protect children and prevent injury. There are few other factors to consider when deciding your playground safety surface, and the following points cover the 3 main reasons why your playground needs a safety surface.

Reason #1: Shock Absorption

When your child falls on a soft safety surface, the surface itself absorbs most of the energy rather than your child’s body. This is why the softest materials are always installed in the “fall zones”, such as the space under swing sets and beneath slides and bridges where kids commonly slip and tumble. With the soft surface there, your child is more likely to get up and brush themselves off to continue playing.

Reason #2: Reduces Injuries

Along with the shock absorption, playground safety surfaces will also reduce injuries from falls or roughhousing. As the material absorbs and displaces the energy from a fall or fight, your child is less likely to hurt themselves. This is most important when it comes to head injuries.

Although uncommon, a child can fall and hit their head, resulting in a serious – sometimes fatal – injury. Concussions are common head injuries from falls, but these can be reduced when there are soft safety layers installed in your playground to reduce the impact.

Reason #3: Easy Access

Safety is the number one concern when it comes to installing playground surfaces, but you must also consider making access to the equipment easy for children of all ages and mobility. Using rubber mats as your safety surface will help small toddlers just learning how to walk move around the playground, and it makes easy access and maneuvering for children in wheelchairs. Rubber mats are commonly used in toddler and water parks for this reason, while the more mature playground equipment intended for older children is surrounded by mulch or sand.

Do your school playgrounds have good safety surfaces?

Neighborhood and school playgrounds are required to have safety surfaces in order to protect children from the accidents that come along with outdoor play. A safety surface will protect your kid from slips, trips, falls, and standing water. These playground safety surfaces are created with the height of the play equipment in mind, as well as the common weather conditions of the neighborhood.

There are many different styles of playground safety surfaces available, and Whirl Construction offers a range to match any aesthetic and functional need your playground has. Choose the right safety surface for your playground and contact us to learn more!

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International Playground Contractors Association New Jersey Recreation and Park Association Certified Playground Safety Inspectors Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute