How To Design a Safe Playground for Children


When it comes to building a playground one of the most important aspects is the surface on which the playground rests.  There are many different options and surfaces to pick from, and some are safer than others. The wrong surface can be devastating with regards to injuries and toxic materials.  Children will fall at one point or another and the outcomes of that fall will depend on the surface they happen to land. Injuries can be mild to severe in some cases.

Materials like asphalt, concrete, and black top are unsafe on any playground under any condition for the safety of children.  These materials are also unacceptable for playground foundations.  It is also unsuitable to use grass, soil and packed earth because these material deteriorate and can erode based on ever changing weather conditions and heavy rainfall.  This can make for unsafe landing conditions for children when they’re running around. You also need to make sure the playground is away from tree roots, stumps, rocks and other items that could potentially cause injury.  Make sure there are no other items like broken glass and dangerous trash in the area when building the playground or laying the surface. Learn more about outdoor rubber flooring for playgrounds here!

There are a bunch of safe materials you can pick from when building a playground for your children. These materials will help ensure that you are creating a safe environment for your children to play.  You can fill the playground and its surface with special materials like pea gravel, shredded rubber, sand, wood chips and mulch.  If you use wood chips be aware that they should be free of the chemical chromated copper arsenate, which can pose a potential health hazard for your children.

It is important to keep a few things in mind when you’retrying to decide upon a material for your playground surface.  If your playground happens to be no higher than 8ft you need to keep the surface material at least 12 inches deep for safety purposes.  The playground you build should extend at least 6ft past the playground equipment for safety reasons.  If the slides or swings are higher than you may need more coverage in case someone falls off.  It is also beneficial to provide wheelchair access using rubber mats so the disabled can play, or help their kids.  If your playground happens to be built over a hard surface make sure you use a layer of geo-textile cloth to help protect against hard impacts which can hurt a child. Learn about poured-in-place here!

The main goal of a playground is to have fun, but it’s also important to keep children safe. It is important to follow all the safety protocols in order to achieve both of these things.


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