SAFETY AND APPROPRIATE FLOORING CONSIDERATIONS FOR SCHOOL PLAYGROUND IN 2023
We all know that as youngsters get bigger, they get more curious about their environment and want to investigate everything. Exploring one’s surroundings is critical for a child’s growth, and risk-taking plays a particularly vital role in children’s play. To avoid potential mishaps, it is critical that play areas and playgrounds maintain high standards of safety for their equipment and playground flooring. Here are some suggestions for how schools or play areas might provide a safe environment for children to explore and have fun.
When it comes to playground flooring, we now have a considerably larger selection. There are surfaces that are significantly safer to play on and provide a greater variety of playground activities. A playground may be changed into something considerably more useful for outdoor classrooms, PE, and break times with the correct flooring in place.
To begin, it is critical to be informed of current legislation that ensures play places are safe to use. Playground managers may be sued for negligence if they fail to take reasonable precautions to maintain the safety of their playgrounds and avoid any incidents that they could reasonably have predicted would occur. This emphasizes the importance of testing play places, as indicated by British Standards.
- The BS 7188 is a performance test that verifies the surface’s slip resistance under normal playing conditions. This is useful for ensuring that the facility is safe for children to run around in, especially in wet weather.
- The BSEN 1177 is a safety test that establishes critical fall height and head injury standards for playground equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
- The BSEN 1176 standard focuses on safe surfaces and the free fall distance between the surface and the platform on playground equipment.
The results indicate that slides, climbers, and swings are the most common playground equipment implicated in fall injuries. As a result, it is critical that suppliers get the material right the first time.
Larger outdoor equipment is typically composed of metal or wood, with high-traffic equipment, such as slides, swings, and climbers in public playgrounds, being made of metal. Metal playground equipment is built of strong steel and is available in a number of color finishes. Metal is commonly used in commercial settings, however wood is popular in home playgrounds because of its natural appearance. However, both metal and wood require regular care to avoid degradation caused by variables such as weathering. To avoid heat-related injuries in metal and splinters in wood, these surfaces must be properly sealed or coated.
Artificial grass – This makes a terrific outdoor area for youngsters and is far more comfortable and attractive than other, less appealing options such as tarmac or asphalt. It also has advantages over materials like as pavement in that it is considerably softer and safer for children who may fall from equipment or trip over.
Rubber Matting – If you currently have a grass playground and want to improve slip resistance while keeping prices low, you can add rubber matting. The advantages include less slippage when wet, preventing youngsters from becoming dirty when they land directly on the soil and preventing the grass from eroding away.
Rubber Mulch – This product provides a pleasant but sturdy playground floor by bonding discarded rubber bits together. The appearance is comparable to natural bark, but it is more stable because it is cemented in place and ready to cushion any trips or falls.
Playground flooring is increasingly becoming a requirement in school playgrounds
Here are Five different types of playground flooring from which to pick.
1. Synthetic Grass and Sports Surfacing
Overnight, artificial grass can transform your playground from a drab grey desert to a lush green haven. It provides a significantly more pleasant and welcoming outdoor environment for children to enjoy, and because it is softer than tarmac or asphalt, it is safer for children to play on. It is also perfect for warmer days since it provides a place for youngsters to sit and lay in the sun, which they would not ordinarily do on uncomfortable and dusty surfaces like Tarmac or asphalt.
Artificial grass is also an excellent sports surfacing material. Playground markings can be installed on artificial grass to produce a variety of sports pitches and courts.
2. Paving Blocks
Block paving is an excellent choice for creating secure, slip-resistant pathways on your playground. Its contrasting textures and patterns make it excellent for use in high-traffic areas, demarcating borders between different portions of your playground, and creating ornamental features.
Block paving is a long-lasting and hard-wearing material that is a cheap and practical solution to manage circulation in your outdoor spaces.
3. Grass Matting
If you are fortunate enough to have a grassed playground area, you are aware that there are times when it is not appropriate to allow children to play on it. When wet and worn down by use, it can become slippery and muddy. Fortunately, there is a fantastic option.
When rubber grass matting is laid over existing grassed areas, it can be used all year. Grass matting lowers slippage in wet conditions, keeps youngsters from becoming muddy when they fall directly on the soil, and keeps grass from wearing away. The matting may be mowed over like regular grass, making maintenance simple.
4. Resin-Bonded Gravel
Resin-bonded gravel, a modern alternative to tarmac or asphalt, can be used to cover playgrounds or pathways. This playground flooring, made of aggregate gravel and polyurethane resin, provides a strong and durable surface that, due to its porous qualities, is resistant to forming puddles or remaining wet on the surface. It also provides a high-quality, user-friendly surface for wheelchair access.
5. Surfacing with Wetpour
Wetpour surfacing, like rubber mulch, is made of recycled rubber that has been bonded together to produce a soft, impact-absorbing playground surface. The distinction is that wet-pour surfaces are smoother and thus better suited for games and sports. Furthermore, a wetpour surface can be used with playground markings to create safe and long-lasting sports courts and pitches.