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Designing a Safe Playground

Playground surface

Playgrounds are a staple of almost anyone’s childhood.  We associate them with fun, play, and meeting new friends.  One thing that makes playgrounds so special is the fact that parents feel comfortable letting their children go off and play without fear of getting hurt, so making sure that your playground is as safe as it can be is imperative to designing a well-attended and happy play space.

Kids trip, kids fall, and kids get hurt.  This is inevitable.  You want your playground to be inclusive and provide a safe space for kids of all ages.  Youngsters who haven’t quite found their sea legs yet are constantly toppling over as they learn how to navigate the world, and they’re bound to fall a few times during that process.  Scrapes, bruises, and breaks can all be avoided, or at least heavily prevented, by using the right playground surfacing material.  Spongey, soft surfaces are what you want to be on the hunt for.  The CPSC, or Consumer Product Safety Commission, has a list of guidelines that you should follow in designing your playground, and a durable, cushy surface is of paramount importance.  Though grass and dirt may seem “soft”, they are not sustainable or safe solutions for preventing playground mishaps.  Natural wear, not to mention environmental factors, significantly impact the ability of grass and dirt to absorb shock, meaning Timmy falling off the monkey bars is going to hurt.  Timmy, and the CPSC, would much rather fall onto outdoor flooring like a Perma-Play or Perma-Mulch material with superior shock absorbing ability.

Surfacing guidelines are based off of how well the surface can absorb shock, and the necessity for how much shock must be absorbed depends on several factors, only some of which you can control.  The heavier a child is, the greater the shock will be when they hit the ground, but an inclusive playground cannot possibly account for the weight of all of the kids who play there.  Something you can control, however, is the height of your playground equipment relative to the ground.  Perhaps you can get away with wood chips cushioning a one foot fall, but how about a ten foot fall?  The taller your equipment, the more important it is to really use surfacing that will absorb the shock you need.  Protect your kids and protect your parks by investing in eco-friendly, safe, and sleek playground surfacing from Pro-Techs Surfacing!

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