Nothing is more exciting when you are a kid (or who are we kidding even as adults) than an afternoon on the playground with your friends.
A key component of making a play area kid-safe and fun for everyone is the playground surface, or ground cover material.
Traditional playgrounds typically have natural grass, loose gravel, wood chips, or sand as a ground cover which can lead to injury.
However, as technology has advanced in artificial turf, experts looking to improve playground safety turn to artificial grass as the best ground cover to keep kids safe and the landscape lush all year round.
Artificial turf offers a range of unique benefits that help to improve playground safety.
Safe Playground & Play Area Ground Cover
Both kids and adults fall.
It is an inevitable part of life that at some point in our human existence we will take a tumble.
Falling from playground equipment though can cause significant injury as equipment can reach up to 15 feet or more in height.
A soft ground is then essential to providing safety for kids.
Ensuring children’s safety is critical when planning a play space.
According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are due to falls.
If then kids are more prone to falls and injury on the playground, it becomes essential to plan and prepare for potential falls.
Though playground equipment is tested for safety the reality is no equipment can fully account for human behavior, especially children’s behavior making planning for falls critical to improving playground safety!
This poses the question then…
Is Artificial Turf Safer Than Natural Grass for Playgrounds?
In short, Yes!
Replacing natural grass with artificial turf will improve playground safety in a number of ways.
For a head-to-head comparison, check out our post: Fake Grass vs. Real Grass.
Not only does artificial turf increase safety from accidents, but it has additional safety features when compared to natural grass.
You may have heard that artificial turf is bad for the environment or that it is too hot for outdoor play.
These are misconceptions.
In fact, artificial turf has seen vast improvements in technology over the years making it safer than ever.
For instance, artificial turf does not contain lead which is a major concern for many parents.
Additionally, turf reduces your carbon footprint and is better for the environment as it is non-toxic and uses less water than natural grass.
Finally, natural grass requires significant investments of both time and money to maintain and requires additional steps to prevent bugs and other pests.
How Does Artificial Turf Improve Playground Safety?
When most people think about artificial turf, they think of professional sports such as football and soccer fields.
While professional sports teams around the world have used synthetic turf for decades, the advancements in manufacturing and synthetic grass technology have made it one of the leading kid-safe ground cover materials for both residential and commercial properties.
Artificial turf improves playground safety in a variety of manners.
Reduce Injuries from Falls
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ATSM) sets standards for playground safety as well as a host of other materials/products.
Artificial turf on playgrounds can meet and exceed these strict standards.
Without giving up the look of natural grass, artificial turf offers a cushioning spring to help absorb shocks and minimize the severity of fall injuries.
Cleaner Environment to Play
Ever had kids (or adults) run through your house with muddy feet?
Or spent a Sunday afternoon trying to remove grass stains from clothes?
Another benefit to artificial grass is that it offers a cleaner environment for play.
Turf eliminates mud and puddles when it rains as well as lose dirt and dust when the Texas sun bakes the soil dry.
Does pollen season leave you or your loved ones in tears?
Allergens like pollen are often increased in natural grass yard environments leaving your outdoor space primed for runny, sneezy, and itchy eyes/noises.
Artificial turf however can reduce allergens that get produced by natural grass areas making it a safe space for allergy-prone kids and adults alike.
Ever read the ingredients on the back of a chemical bottle?
Words that are hard to pronounce and even harder to understand their potential impact on an individual’s health can be concerning.
Often, fertilizers and pesticides used to maintain natural grass landscapes are riddled with chemicals but with artificial turf, you can be sure that your play space is chemical-free and safe for your kids to enjoy.
The term antimicrobial has gained attention in recent years as people become more aware of the importance of products that combat, kill, and prevent bacteria.
The backing on our turf products is infused with Microbe-Safe™ antimicrobial protection technology to help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria making it a safe play space for kids and leave parents/care-takers worry-free.
Your Saturday schedule just opened up!
Get time in your day back with artificial turf by reducing the amount of time spent on lawn maintenance.
While artificial turf still requires care, the time spent maintaining your artificial turf is significantly less than the time required with natural grass.
Less time mowing, weed-eating, edging, and watering means more time spent doing what you love!
For more information on how to maintain your synthetic grass yard check out our detailed guide on artificial turf maintenance & cleaning.
Final Thoughts on Improving Playground Safety
Falls on a playground are inevitable.
However, planning for these incidents ahead of time can reduce potential injuries.
Artificial turf has several benefits to add to any playground space with regards to health and safety.
When it comes to ensuring that your children have a safe place to play, who you choose to install your artificial turf is just as important as the turf product you choose. Make sure you work with a trusted and reputable artificial turf installer!