Knowing and assessing your current site conditions is an important step towards designing a safe and rewarding playground for your community.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 60% of all playground injuries are due to falls, so it is important to provide children with a safe surface below.
There are several types of playground surfacing available, the most popular being engineered wood fiber (i.e. EWF or playground “mulch”). EWF differs from landscaping mulch as it contains no dyes, uniformly cut, and free of any other debris or contaminates, and is tested and certified to meet industry safety and purity standards. EWF is also accessible with proper compaction and maintenance.
Poured-in-Place (PIP) is a unitary rubber surfacing which is completely accessible and can include customized graphics. PIP is low maintenance, seamless, and non-slip, available in a variety of colors with the option of custom graphics.
Synthetic Turf (grass carpet) is another option that is ADA accessible and significantly reduces maintenance costs. No top-off, raking or repositioning of mulch is required.
Determining the age group is important to know when designing the structure to make sure the components are appropriate yet challenging at the same time. Most manufacturers group the ages <24 months, 2-5, 2-12, and 5-12.