Choosing the Right Playground Surfacing [Infographic]
More than 70 percent of all playground injuries involve falls. Most of those injuries involve a child falling onto an unsafe or non-compliant playground surface. It’s critical to include surfacing that meets the ASTM requirements for children’s play areas to help reduce the risk of hazards and injuries.
The infographic below highlights the need for playground surfacing for your play and recreation projects. It also contains information about the different playground surface options and their benefits.
How to Choose the Right Playground Surfacing
As you can see, there are lots of options when it comes to playground safety surfacing.
Engineered Wood Fiber is an affordable option, but it requires frequent maintenance and “top-offs” to ensure an appropriate amount of surfacing to cushion falls. For community installations or organizations on a budget, it’s the quickest, easiest, and least expensive compliant surfacing option available.
A rubber playground surface like poured in place rubber, recycled bonded rubber, or recycled rubber tile is a more significant financial investment but requires less maintenance over time. You also have customization options. Poured-in-place rubber can include logos or images in the surfacing, and all rubber surfaces have many color options.
Synthetic turf is another low-maintenance option. It looks like natural grass, but there’s no watering or mowing required! And it looks excellent with outdoor obstacle courses and fitness areas.
Any of these playground surfaces will provide a compliant play experience. The right playground surface depends on many elements, such as your available budget, how people will use the space, maintenance capacity, and the need for additional accessibility.
Give the Community a Strong Foundation
Playground surfacing is necessary to provide a compliant play experience for children. Proper playground surfacing provides cushioning or fall attenuation. This helps to reduce the risk of injuries during play.
There are many different types of playground surfacing available, and the best playground surface will depend on your specific needs and budget. You can learn more about the various options in the free surfacing resource guide, Strong Foundations.
Have additional questions about playground safety surfaces? Contact the GameTime play expert in your neighborhood.