Can Playgrounds Be Safer and Kid-Friendly Using Artificial Turf?

r choice in cities and parks across the country. Not only is it a cost effective choice, but it can also help protect children from illness and injury. Additionally, in locales where drought conditions are a problem, artificial turf is a maintenance-free product that requires no additional moisture to look brilliantly green.

Artificial Turf Reduces Allergen Exposure

Unlike natural grass, artificial grass produces no pollen, and its soil-free construction prevents the growth of weeds and similar plants. With a natural grass lawn, pollination can be a problem for children who are extremely allergic, such as frequent sufferers of hay fever and other upper respiratory problems. In a playground setting, where children are constantly running, jumping and diving into the grass, pollen and dust can become a major problem. Artificial turf eliminates the production of pollen, except for that which comes from nearby trees.

It Creates Even, Safe Terrain

In playgrounds, one of the biggest dangers to children is uneven terrain — the overused, rough, or washed out areas where high volumes of foot traffic and weather have eroded the surface of the ground. Bare spots can form under swings, or at the base of slides, both of which lead to tripping hazards. As natural grass grows, it can also hide debris like sticks and rocks embedded in its surface. Children who are playing are often not watching where they are going or stepping, and they can trip or fall due to any of these hazards.
Artificial turf, however, is installed with one even height. This prevents debris from being hidden, as it can be easily spotted and removed before anyone gets hurt. Additionally, artificial turf will not wear away or erode due to high volumes of foot traffic, prevent the wearing of paths into a playground surface.

Turf is Easier on Skin and Clothing

Children enjoy rolling and tumbling in the grass — they run, they fall and, for the most part, they do all of this and still come out unscathed. Playgrounds that have been resurfaced with artificial turf can reduce the risk of injury while also helping to protect children’s clothing. Thanks to its synthetic blades, there is no bright green chlorophyll to stain clothes, and the texture of the synthetic fibers will not damage most fabrics. Although artificial turf playground surfacing can be slightly more abrasive than natural grass, it rarely causes discomfort or harms the skin.

Another advantage to artificial turf playground surfacing is that the surface of the ground stays constant. With natural grass and dirt, the ground can become choppy and uneven, especially after a good rain. It is much easier for debris to build up and because a problem with natural grass than it is with artificial turf. Rocks and small sticks can become lodged in dirt leaving them sticking out just enough to cut the skin or cause a bruise if a small child would happen to land on them.

 

Turf Inhibits Bacterial Growth

Worried about your child picking up an unsanitary type of bacteria at the local park playground? If it features artificial turf, you have nothing to fear. Most brands of artificial turf contain anti-microbial agents that help fend off any bacteria or virus strains. While there will always be a small degree of bacteria in playground settings, artificial turf minimizes the amount compared to what is found on countertops, in public restrooms and other areas. As long as you and your child follow hygienic habits, exposure to bacteria at the playground can be kept to a minimum.

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