Playground surfaces are made of materials that have a high efficiency of absorbing shocks on an everyday basis. These are made of recyclable materials, one reason of doing that is being responsible towards the environment and the other is fact that shock absorbing materials often become less efficient after years of use, so using naturally scarce substance would mean wasting it every few years. Also, one must consider the fact that there are not many natural substances that meets the specific requirement of being the perfect shock absorbing material for playground surfaces. So what are the qualities we are talking of and which are the right materials that fit the bill?
Desired Qualities in Playground Surfaces
Apart from being really good at absorbing shocks, these materials need to be soft to the touch and very easy to clean and maintain. Better brands in the market provide some extra features in their playground surfaces as well, most of which you would not find or need if your aim is to prepare a surface for small kids and not professional/amateur sportsmen. With kids what counts is the playground surface’s ability to break the fall and prevent the kid from enduring ghastly injuries. Everything else like durability, germicidal ability and every fancy feature is secondary.
Best Material for Playground Surfaces
Of course we are not pooh-poohing the thoughtful feature of making germ resistant floor mats and ground covers, but we definitely think that should come after the core qualities of the surface. Here are some of our choices for an efficient playground surface.
1. Rubber Mulch: The most commonly used product in the floor surfacing is rubber mulch. These look like small chips of wood and bark, but in reality rubber is the primary component used for making mulches, so the product becomes extremely soft and easy on the falling child. Rubber mulches are also eco friendly and cheap to purchase. Rubber is also commonly used to make mats, covers and tiles which can be put to use at many different places other than playgrounds, such as gym floors and martial arts rings.
2. Polystyrene Chips: If it were not for the durability factor, polystyrene would have been our top choice. Polystyrene is lightweight, easy on the eyes with a lot of colour options and products made of polystyrene stand strong against the battering of harsh weather conditions for months and even years at end.
3. Sand: Use sand only when you have run out of all options. There are some serious problems associated with sand, in fact the authorities that are responsible for overseeing such things are not particularly fond of sand, first because it shifts under the foot of the person and second, pet animals use sand to defecate!
Injuries that involve a kid often involve the head, limbs and the face. For the lack of good ground protection, each of these incidents could become potentially life threatening injuries. Insist on your local amusement park managers to install proper playground surfaces.