A Child’s Play Surface that Protects Against Falls
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that every year, 47,000 children are injured in home playground accidents. 80 percent of those accidents are associated with falls.
It's important to install a shock-absorbing surface under all play sets. Mulch, sand and pea gravel are commonly used for this application.
There is a product on the market that is actually much softer than these materials. This rubber ground cushion made by PermaLife is called SoftStuff. It's made from recycled tires and is designed to go under outdoor playsets. What makes it different from garden mulch and absolutely safe for children is that every bit of metal has been removed. PermaLife also offers a simple border that keeps the ground cushion in the play area.
For falls of up to eight feet, a minimum depth of four inches of SoftStuff should cover the play area. For play structures between eight and twelve feet tall, PermaLife suggests covering the play area with at least six inches of SoftStuff.
Special stakes are first driven into the ground and corner brackets set on them. Precut panels made of a composite material simply drop into these corner bracket slots. Short screws secure the panels in place.
With the border in place, pour in the ground cushion and level it with a rake. PermaLife claims that weed cloth will not be a necessary underlayer, since the material blocks light completely while allowing water to drain thoroughly.
With this material, nearly anyone can put down a safe play surface in a matter of hours. A surface like this will ensure that any falls will certainly be safer ones.
The play surface material shown in this project video is no longer available. As an alterative visit these websites:
To learn more about the composite border, stakes and fittings visit: http://www.frameitall.com/playground-borders.html
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