The Playground Surfaces is essential in keeping minor falls from becoming major injuries. There are many different surfaces to choose from, but the safest playground surfacing is made of durable materials that can withstand lots of wear and tear and still look great. In addition to looking good, the surfacing should provide some level of tactile stimulation for kids that enhances their play experience.
One of the safest and most popular playground surfaces is poured rubber, also called poured-in-place or PIP. This is a 2-layer system that features a shock-absorbing layer of crumb rubber — which are processed to remove threads and steel that could poke children — covered by a finish layer of granular particles that are bound with a binder and mixed on-site. It can be customized on-site to accommodate a range of fall heights and is one of the best options for ADA accessibility.
Playground Surface Maintenance: Tips for Keeping Kids Safe
Engineered wood fiber, or EWF, is another safe loose-fill material that is easy to install and maintain. It’s all-natural, knits together to compact into a smooth, accessible surface and is much more affordable than unitary surfaces like rubber tiles or artificial turf. EWF is a great choice for natural-themed playgrounds and offers excellent impact absorption.
Gravel is affordable and simple to install, but it requires constant raking and upkeep to keep it free of sharp rocks, pests, animal waste, and other debris. Sand is another common option, but it can harbor hidden objects and requires a lot of upkeep to ensure that the safety levels are met.