It’s safe to say that we all have fond childhood memories of playing on playgrounds. From schoolyard tire swing sessions to backyard monkey bar shenanigans, playgrounds were integral to your upbringing. Children today have the same enthusiasm for outdoor play, so parents, homeowners associations (HOAs), community, and school leaders must ensure that these cherished play spaces are safe. We encourage you to keep your playgrounds safe by performing yearly maintenance. One of the most critical components of playground safety is padding. Topping off playgrounds with an adequate amount of mulch every year will help children avoid injuries. Here’s how to get started.
Every year, playground accidents result in 200,000 injuries that require emergency treatment. Of these accidents, 20% are due to falls from playground equipment. There are about 15 fatalities from playground injuries annually. Adding new mulch to your playgrounds will keep the kids in your backyard, community, or school safe.
It is a simple process that can make a huge difference, as mulch is an energy-absorbing material that helps reduce fall-related injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, recommends topping off mulch in playgrounds every year to maintain a safe environment. They advise a minimum of 6” in depth for rubber mulch and nothing less than 9” in depth for other loose-fill materials.
- To get started adding mulch to your playground, you must determine what type of mulch you need—rubber or playground mulch. Rubber mulch is non-toxic, making it safe for both kids and pets. Playground mulch is an organic material which means eventually, it will decompose. It is also very light, so outside forces such as wind, rain, and children can subsequently disperse it.
- Playground mulch should have a depth of 8 to 12 inches to reduce injuries due to falls.
- When adding new mulch, one must first rake the existing layer, preventing mulch from compacting and creating a hard surface.
- Once the whole area is raked, a new layer of mulch can be added.
- It is important to rake the mulch after it is added to ensure it is spread out evenly and covers all playground areas.
ColoradoScapes is here to help you keep your playground safe. We use the highest quality mulch products for beauty and safety. Learn more about our playground mulch services here.