After completing a two month long, in-depth study of the Public Playground Safety, staff at Synthetic Turf Council have added their extensive knowledge of playground safety essentials, including how critical playground surfacing material truly is.

According to the Public Playground Safety Review conducted by the Synthetic Turf Council, there are more than 200,000 emergency room treated injuries that occur annually on public playgrounds. Forty-four percent (44%) of those injuries are caused by falls from the playground set, to the ground below.

If proper protective surfacing material were used, many of these injuries can be prevented, or lessened. Protective surfacing under commercial playground sets is often an after-thought when purchasing an outdoor playground, however it is crucial that the correct surfacing material is used, and for the right area and use zone. National Greens synthetic turf has the knowledge and resources to help clients choose the correct playground surfacing material adding to new or existing playgrounds.

Due to natural weathering and general wear and tear, dirt and grass are not considered appropriate playground protective surfacing materials. Asphalt, concrete and carpet are also not appropriate, as they will not provide adequate cushioning in the case of falls.

Appropriate surfacing materials for playgrounds can be divided into two groups: unitary surfacing material, such as rubber tiles, mats, poured-in-place rubber and artificial turf (similar to the Indianapolis playing field of Super Bowl XLVI); and loose fill surfacing materials, such as shredded rubber, manufactured wood chips, sand, and pea gravel.

Unitary surfacing materials are ideal for playgrounds intended for toddlers (ages 6 to 23 months), handicap accessible playgrounds, or multi-use play areas. Loose fill surfacing material can be a more cost effective option, however as minimum required depths must be maintained at all times, more material must be used up front, and must be continually added.

According to the Public Playground Safety Review, loose fill surfacing material will compress at least 25% over time, due to weathering and use. As a result of their absorbing properties, different loose fill material will require different minimum fill levels. When choosing a protective surfacing material for commercial playgrounds, keep in mind that whether unitary or loose fill, dark colored surfacing can become hot if exposed to direct sunlight.

If you decide you need a mud free, safe alternative to natural grass giving you and your children year round use of your lawn, look at the latest artificial grass supplied by National Greens right now!

Contact us today for further information or free estimates at National Greens.

About the Synthetic Turf Council

Based in Atlanta, the Synthetic Turf Council was founded in 2003 to promote the industry and to assist buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf, municipal parks, airports, construction and residential applications.

The organization is also a resource for current, credible, and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf. Membership includes builders, construction architects, testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty service companies.

For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.

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