Between 550 & 600+ children end up in emergency rooms in the US every day from playground injuries, with 79% of them due to falls, so safety surfacing is critical to minimize injuries. When you learn most playgrounds lack the proper safety surfacing to prevent serious injury or death when children fall, it can be troubling. Then you add the fact that current U.S. fall safety standards are grossly and negligently unsafe, with many public playgrounds not even meeting these unsafe standards due to improper surfacing installation and/or maintenance, it makes for a far more serious problem which needs to be understood, acknowledged and remedied.
The primary types of playground safety surfacing used most often are: playground sand, wood products (EWF), rubber mulch, and pour-in-place (PIP). We have provided a comparison of these playground safety surfaces, with more detailed information on each on separate pages. Each type of surfacing carries with them certain benefits and problems, to varying degrees, related to costs of installation & upkeep, inspection & maintenance requirements, levels of fall safety over time, overall longevity, as well as potential hazards and liabilities.
Please take a moment to learn more about the different types of playground safety surfaces, by reviewing the information we've provided. All of these are designed to meet the current playground fall safety standards, which really aren't safe at all. This helps to establish the need to work with fall safety maximum HIC scores that really matter by age group: 390 HIC for toddlers under age 4, 570 HIC for ages 4 & 5, and 700 HIC for ages 6 through adult. Those are the thresholds at which traumatic brain injury (TBI) or death have been proven are LIKELY to occur.
1,000 HIC or 200 G's as a fall safety standard is a total and complete joke, a threat to children's playground safety, and a testament to the persistent and willful ignorance and disdain for over 20 year old updated data from the very agency used as a reference to create playground fall safety standards, NHTSA.