Our children are precious to us and as a parent or caregiver we must always make sure we do everything to protect them. Few of us think of a playground as a potentially dangerous place but each year over 200,000 children are injured in playground accidents. 70% of the injuries are a result of children falling from the playground equipment to the surface below. Not all playgrounds are as safe as they should be and the surfacing of the playgrounds is usually one of the main contributing problems. Proper playground mats and playground tiles can greatly reduce the injuries resulting form these falls.
Why is playground safety surfacing important? Some of the equipment can be anywhere from 6′ to 10′ and we all know how much kids love to climb. A lot of head injuries and injured limbs can occur when a child falls from those heights. The heights are actually 안전놀이터 called critical fall heights. The IPEMA, International Playground Equipment Manufactures Association, sets standards on what the thickness of the surface of the playground should be by analyzing the critical fall heights.
Critical fall height of a playground surface is based on the height of the tallest piece of equipment that a child can stand on. This height will determine the thickness or impact attenuation a playground surface must have as described in ASTM F1292.
Sand is not a recommended surface for several reasons. One is that the kids playing in it easily remove the sand from the needed area. When it gets wet and packs down it can be quite hard to fall on as well. Sand can also get in children’s eyes and cause irritation.
Wood fill or mulch is often used but this method requires continual maintenance to keep the mulch in the play area and needs to be raked to prevent low spots. Once a low spot occurs, any safety cushion the mulch provides is greatly reduced. Rubber mulch and pellets are a bit better but also require constant maintenance to prevent dangerous low or bald spots.
A safe material that is recommended for playground safety surfacing today is rubber playground mats and tiles. You can get rubber mats and tiles from 1″ to 4 1/4″ in thickness. Depending on the tallest height that is in the playground is how thick the mat or tile needs to be. These mats and tiles not only look great but most importantly they can greatly cut down on the number of playground fall injuries and protect those precious little ones.