Artificial Turf Can Improve Playground Safety

Artificial Turf Can Improve Playground Safety 1

Improve Playground Safety with Artificial Turf

Playground safety requires and necessitates more than just maintenance of the equipment. It also requires that adults and experts maintain the grounds — and, of course, it is crucial to provide a safe environment where children can run and play without worrying about tripping, slipping or being injured in falls. Artificial turf is one of the best materials for playground resurfacing because of its uniformity and ability to resist everyday wear, tear, and use.

Forget Paths or Ruts

One of the biggest problems in maintaining a playground is preventing ruts and holes under swings, slides and other pieces of playground equipment. As children enjoy and use the equipment, much damage can occur and lead to dangerous consequences. Wear patterns and pathways are also a problem. High volumes of foot traffic can wear a way natural grass causing ruts and an uneven surface area. Artificial turf is created to remain intact no matter how often children play on it, or how rough they get — and it is designed to withstand the use of many different visitors.

Part of the installation preparation for artificial turf is the process of smoothing out any rough, uneven areas and eliminating deep grooves or ruts that could potentially create a tripping hazard. Once the turf is installed, the brilliantly green grass will remain in tact. The blades of fake grass will not mat down or remain compressed for long periods of time. The materials used in synthetic grass and lawns will not break down or deteriorate over even years of use.

Stop Slipping

Natural grass can become slick when wet. In the mornings when dew is still covering the ground or after a heavy rain, children can slip or lose their footing if they are not extra careful. This can lead to accidents and injuries if they fall on or near pieces of playground equipment. In areas where bare earth is showing, like under slides and swings, water can create a muddy mess that can be extremely hard to walk or run through without slipping or sliding. Worn pathways can also expose dirt creating a trail of mud and loose dirt.

Artificial turf is manufactured and designed to be slip-resistant. It does not deteriorate with regular wear and tear, but instead remains securely in place with a solid foundation for children to play on.

Softer Than Even The Gentlest Dirt

High levels of foot traffic can impact a playground surface. First, frequent use can damage the grass (if it is natural, of course) and wear away the top soil. When this happens, it causes the surface of the ground to become uneven or even potentially sloped. Secondly, constant foot traffic can pack down the dirt around playground equipment so it is extremely hard and unforgiving if a child falls from any height. It is also more difficult to maintain playground surfaces when exposed areas of dirt exist.

With artificial turf, the ground is thoroughly prepared prior to installation. A drainage system included with the material itself prevents pooling and puddling in the event of rain or moisture, and a filler material is used to cover the mesh backing that creates the foundation of the turf.

Tim Taylor is an industrial engineer and entrepreneur with years of hands-on experience in the synthetic turf industry. As a member of the Synthetic Turf Council, he dedicates his time, energy, and resources to finding real solutions to real problems for synthetic turf products and installation processes.

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