When putting together a playground, it's important to keep the safety of the children in mind. Playground mulch is a great option for playground areas. This mulch helps with recycling efforts, and also helps keep children from getting serious injuries if they fall from playground equipment. Mulch is long-lasting meaning that it once it's put in, it doesn't need a lot of maintenance or replacement. In addition, the mulch helps the playground look great.
When you're planning a playground, you need to decide what type of material is going to go under and around the playground equipment. This is to help ensure the safety of the children. While some playgrounds use woodchips, these can cause splinters and aren't very soft when a child falls on them. That is why more playground developers are moving toward playground mulch.
This material is also known as rubber mulch. It is recycled from old tires, and from scrap left after a retreading. Because of the soft material of the rubber, playground mulch can help stave off injuries to children. It's important to keep in mind that according to the CPSC, grass and dirt do not count as protective surfacing. This means that playgrounds need to have something else covering the ground of the area.
There are a few standards that the ground covering of a playground needs to fit. These coverings should have some sort of shock absorbing effect. In addition to this, materials used should comply with the regulations of ASTM F1292. Hard materials such as asphalt and concrete should not be used under playground material, as these can lead to severe injuries when a child falls. If the playground is intended for use by toddlers, it is suggested that a loose fill is not used.
There are several reasons a park designer may choose to use playground mulch. While some of the benefits have been listed above, there are other reasons that this material is great for playgrounds. When 6 inches of compressed rubber mulch are used as a fill for a playground, it can help protect children when falling from as high as 10 feet. Many of the other materials regularly used only protect up to 7 feet.
Since rubber mulch has to go through the same testing that other playground materials have to, it is certified as safe for use by children. In addition to this, however, it is better for the health of children. This is because unlike gravel and wood mulch, rubber mulch does not harbor bacteria. It also does not have the same attraction as wood or gravel to rodents. This helps keep children protected and healthy.
There are many benefits to using playground mulch. When designing a playground of any size, it's important to consider the different types of materials available. Rubber mulch offers great safety benefits and is better for the health of children than many of the other options available.
- CalRecycle Playground Mulch
- EPA Tire Crumbs
- Clemson.edu Loose Mulch
- Playground Surface Trends
- CPSC Playground Safety Tips
- Oklahoma Department of Labor Guidelines for Playgrounds
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- National Safety Council Playground Safety
- Playgrounds and Child Care
- Playground Safety
- State of New Jersey Playground Safety
- Maryland DOE Playground Guidelines
- Recycled Rubber Playground Cover
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- Playground Safety Considerations
- Outdoor Play Safety
- Childcare Education Institute
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- K-State Research Playground Safety
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Playground Safety
- DODEA Playground Fact Sheet
- Playgrounds are Meant to be Safe
- Kid's Health Playground Safety
- Consumer Reports Rubber vs Wood
Find more about the author: Kim Hart