Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Safe Surface Completes Childrens Playground Equipment

By Kelley Vazquez

There is a massive variety of childrens playground equipment, its form constrained only by the imagination of its designer. However, whether it consists of a wooden play castle, a climbing frame made form stainless steel or an adventure trail in woodlands, none of it is any use without a surface which makes it use safe.

Surfaces are crucial for a number of reasons, not least the part they play in minimizing injury when children fall from apparatus. Cuts and bruises may once have been an acceptable part of childhood, but general tolerance for any kind of injury is very low these days. A safe surface made from tiled, bonded or chipped material is therefore the norm currently.

Artificial chippings have a number of advantages over their organic counterparts, and are readily available in ecologically friendly materials. Often made of recycled materials, rubber chippings retain their colour and vibrancy, and can be easily maintained and installed, often being able to be poured straight onto a concrete base.

Using artificial chippings also means that a more uniform surface can be created when the chippings are mixed with a resin binder. This allows for the installation of a fully-bonded surface which can be a more cost effective solution than free pour mixes.

British regulations state that soft surfaces have to be installed beneath any kind of play equipment where there is a free height for falling larger than 0.6 metres, or two feet. Hard asphalt or concrete surfaces are usually prohibited directly beneath any kind of play apparatus, whatever the height of fall, with a softer surface expected to be in place.

Play equipment should always be guaranteed for its safety by having a kitemark stamped on it. But the surface on which it is to be installed is far from a secondary consideration, and is one of the most important factors when it comes to installing any kind of play apparatus. Read more about: Childrens Playground Equipment

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