As child care providers seek to increase active play, outside play areas have become a focus for many venues. Safety is a priority, and choosing the right surface for your play area is an important choice.
Although there’s no legal requirement to put in protective surfacing according to ROSPA, recent out of court settlements for playground accidents suggest that courts consider it good practice.
If you are choosing a safety surface for your active play area, you may be confused about which of the different types to use. We’ll discuss the most popular and give you some guidance as to which might work best for your area.
A versatile solution is wet-pour rubber. Available in a range of colours, wet pour is incredibly versatile as it can be poured in different thicknesses to ensure that whatever equipment you have, the children remain safe. For example, if your play area included wooden climbing frames such as those from http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames, you could increase the thickness depending on the fall height.
Wet pour is created by mixing pellets of EPDM rubber with a binder. This wet mixture is poured onto concrete, macadam or stone base and screeded to a flat surface. Pre-cut inserts in different shapes and colours can be included to create additional play opportunities within the surface.
Wet pour can also be repaired in the case of damage, and self-repair kits are available to help save on costs.
Like wetpour, rubber mulch is created by binding wooden bark in a rubberised solution. It is a great solution for play areas that tend to be muddy, and looks more natural than wet pour.
It can also be laid in different thicknesses and can be laid on most surfaces, keeping the cost of installation low.
Artificial Grass helps prevent cut knees and bruises during falls, so it is a helpful solution for play areas where the children are younger and more prone to these kinds of accidents. Shock pads can be installed underneath areas where there is an increased risk of a fall. The benefit of artificial grass is the appearance, which is more natural than the other solutions.
Keeping children safe is a top priority for any play area owner. We hope this guide has given you useful information to make the best choice for you.