Different Types of Playground Surfaces

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The right surface is key to the safety of any playground. A play surface can send a child to the hospital, but the right one will make bumps, falls and scrapes less scary.

Playground surfaces can be loose or unitary, and they come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. They may be made from different materials such as wood, rubber, recycled tires or synthetic turf. They can be designed specifically for aesthetics, child safety or ADA wheelchair accessibility.

Poured-in-place surface offers a safe and attractive option with a high shock-absorbing quality. It is very durable and can withstand heavy traffic. A poured-in-place surface is a good choice for spray parks, pools or waterparks as well because it is slip-resistant and has the ability to withstand chemicals and salt.

Choosing the Safest Playground Surfaces for Your Children

Sand is another low-cost loose-fill option, but it is not recommended for playgrounds because it is difficult to maintain and can harbor dangerous items like broken glass. Inconsistent sand levels and bare spots can also be hazardous.

Shredded rubber is another affordable loose-fill option that provides great cushioning for falls. It is a good option for Playground Surfaces with a fall height of up to five feet, but it should not be used as the only safety surface over equipment that requires a higher fall height.