There are many questions that come up when designing a playground, the most common is what type of safety softfall surfaces are available?
What does it cost?
Is it safe?
Is it accessible?
How does it affect the person using the playground?
To select a suitable soft fall surface solution, you must look at its purpose and whether it suits the needs of the child and the area it is applied to.
Softfall safety surfaces provide an impact-absorbing layer to help reduce the severity of an injury.
The most common soft fall surface we find in playgrounds today is sand. The versatility of this product can be utilised as a play material such as a sandpit and protecting children from injury if they fall. Sand is usually the most economical option for a soft fall material but is also good for use in high-temperature areas where the sun would wear out other substances.
Synthetic Grass is a good choice for any indoor or outdoor playground and when combined with rubber softfall it can complement any area large or small. It’s durable, hardwearing and is an all-weather terrain product. Synthetic grass combined with shock pads underneath create a safe and soft environment, reducing injury to children if they happen to fall.
Bark is another soft fall alternative that is very popular and is not as ‘messy or sticky’ as sand underfoot. Bark does have its problems as it is a natural material it has a tendency to rot over time. When it rains due to it being such a light product it often can be washed away so needs to be replaced. An alternative to natural bark is Takura Bark it is made of non-toxic pine wood. (paddle pop sticks are made from the same material) it has minimal dust so this is great for lower allergies and is fade resistant to the sun.
Rubber soft fall is becoming very popular as it comes in multiple colours and can be very eye-catching. Along with its non-slip and hard-wearing qualities, it may cost a little more to install as you need to vary the thickness of the rubber depending on the fall height. For example, a fall height of 1.2m requires a soft fall thickness of 40mm. However, as it is hard-wearing and very durable it will last the life of your playground.
All soft fall safety surfacing and our playgrounds have been designed, manufactured and installed to Australian Safety Standards.
AS 4685.1-6 & 11:2014
If you’d like to find out more about our soft fall surfacing solutions for your playground contact us today.