Children like to go outside to have some fun with their friends in the playground during Summer. The kids do not know the safety ratings. All they know is that they want to go outside to end the winter hermit. Summer is a really good time when the temperature is rising and birds are chirping all across the country. Parents also take their kids out to play. It is just the beginning of a perfect time of the year to think of a playground in your backyard or to update the equipment so kids can enjoy it.
There are lots of options to make a playground but the important thing for you is to make it safe and fun for the children. All you need is to install a durable and vibrant playground flooring and need to maintain the equipment. If you do not know about the outdoor playground flooring, then you can get help from Decking Board who are the best outdoor flooring experts. Anyhow, it is important to keep the play area safe so no one needs an unnecessary trip to the hospital.
First, you need to know about the things that you need for playground flooring. It should be shock absorbent which means concrete, gravel, dirt, and asphalt should not be included in your options. Some of you are thinking that I have soft grass. Well, it is but only for a picnic – it’s not an alternative to the playground flooring. There are lots of equipment with various heights and there is always a risk that a child can fall from it on the floor. So, it is important to install flooring that is specially designed for this purpose. You can use outdoor rubber flooring to fulfil the safety requirements.
What is Fall Height Rating?
Well, it is the rating that determines the fall height of a child without any serious injury. It is the highest height where a child can safely fall on the ground. For example, if the rating of your flooring is 4’, it means a child can fall safely from 4’. This fall will not result in any serious injury and kids can easily stand and continue to play with other children.
Some common flooring materials such as concrete or gravel are not shock absorbers. If kids fall on such surfaces from a certain height, they can receive serious injuries. A specially-designed flooring makes sure that the kid is safe from a certain height. So, there is not an option to install old concrete flooring in the playground for the safety of kids. To determine the fall height ratings and shock absorbency of the product: you can measure the thickness (the higher the thickness, the higher the fall height rating). It also means that you can use higher equipment in the playground. When it comes to the kids, safety is a big concern and it is important to meet all the safety standards. Every flooring option has its safety criteria and standards.
How the Manufactures Test the Fall Height?
The only way to determine the fall height of a product is by testing the shock absorbency. The manufacturers do this by falling a ball which is a replica of a child fall to determine the ratings. They determine what will happen to a child who falls from a certain height. After that, they find a safe fall height without experiencing any serious injury. It also helps them to pay the best equipment with the flooring to create a safe environment for the playground.
Previously, the test was done by dropping the ball to the centre of the floor tile. It usually gives them a higher rating. However, the IPEMA which is a play equipment manufacturer association thinks that it is the not right way to test the product. Instead, they test it by falling the ball on the edge of the tile as it is the weakest point. Anyhow, the test results were very lower than the previous results. Any playground flooring manufacturer should perform this test 6 times to find the lowest fall height rating. That is also the reason that many products are now receiving less fall height ratings. The important thing is that the way of making the tile cannot determine the ratings. Only the testing can determine whether the product is good or not.
If the fall height rating shows a significant drop, it does not mean the product is not safe for the flooring. You just need to make sure that the product is certified and you are good to go. If you are the owner of a commercial playground then you should use a product with 6’ rating. In the case of backyard or residential play area, you can go with products with fewer ratings such as 2’. But if you have higher equipment then go for recommended ratings for safety purposes. People are using bigger playground equipment these days. With such big equipment, it is not easy to find flooring with the right ratings. In such cases, you may need to install another foam layer on the back of tile which can cost you extra but an effective way to improve the fall height rating.
One of the best materials for the flooring are the tiles. The reason is that there is no fuss and they are easy to maintain. Moreover, these tiles stay in place, durable and you do not need to worry about the thickness as in the case with mulch. Moreover, the rubber tiles provide a smooth surface that is safe for playing and running.
Some Tips Before Buying Tiles
First, you need to make sure that the tiles are fall height certified. Another thing to keep in mind Is that there shouldn’t be any dangerous chemical used. Moreover, sweep the surface regularly. We will recommend you to choose a material that is slip-resistant as kids can slip in the rain.