There are many options available for playground surfaces. Mulch, pea gravel and rubber have all been used for the surface of playgrounds for many years now.
Traditional options fall short when it comes to consistent safety protection. Surfaces constructed of mulch, gravel or sand tend to be less safe as time goes by. High foot traffic areas such as those circling the merry-go-rounds, under the swings or at the landing of a slide tend to displace the material exposing the hard ground underneath.
Rubber surface playgrounds do offer more consistent protection. However, these surfaces can create a host of new concerns. In the summer they absorb the heat. In the winter they can become hard and brittle which will compromise the integrity of the protection it offers.
Synthetic turf is the only playground surface that provides consistent safety standards in high traffic areas, in any weather, at any height, and under all types of play equipment. Additionally it is aesthetically more pleasing.
While safety is our number one concern, there are many other advantages to using synthetic grass for playgrounds.
According to researchers the chance to play is so essential to optimal child development and wellness that it has been recognized formally as a right of every child. Synthetic turf in playgrounds help more kids play outdoors and inside by creating commercial and residential play area surfaces that focus on the safety of children, environmental impacts of the materials used and cost containment.
Safety always comes first when using synthetic turf for recreational use. When developing synthetic turf for playgrounds it is important to take in mind the fall zones but also making sure all components being biodegradable and/or recyclable and lead-free. Synthetic turf used for playground surfaces should not support stain or odour causing bacteria, mould, or mildew. Therefore users would not have to worry about exposure or contact with harsh chemicals found in the pesticides and fertilizers used to treat regular grass.
In addition, childhood motor and sensory development is stimulated by the attractive appearance of the synthetic turf in playgrounds. Unlike mulch or shredded rubber, synthetic grass surface is green, inviting and lush, which can add interest, fun and beauty.
To conclude the main advantages of using synthetic turf in playgrounds are the following:
- Soft and safe for kids with fall zone safety ratings
- Accessible playing surface all year round
- Virtually maintenance free
- Lush natural look and fresh cut appearance
- Eliminates grass and other environmental allergies
- No need for harmful chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides
- Clean and can be cleaned unlike other alternatives
- Consistent performance over long periods of time and use
- Promotes sensory development