SEND playground surfacing is one of the most important things you can invest in for your playground. The right surface can help absorb the shock of falls that are inevitable, protecting head injuries that range from minor to life-threatening. However, selecting the best safety surfacing for your playground requires more than just budgetary considerations. Surfacing must also meet a number of industry standards set by ASTM International and state or local laws, as well as provide ADA accessibility and be visually appealing.
Safe and Inclusive Play: Choosing the Right Playground Surfacing for SEND Environments
There are a number of different playground surfaces to consider for your playground including bonded rubber, engineered wood fiber, poured-in-place and synthetic turf. Each has its own unique advantages and a variety of color options for you to choose from. When choosing a surfacing material, look for a product that has been field-tested and certified to ensure it meets or exceeds ASTM playground safety standards. Additionally, ask the manufacturer what warranty information is available for the product.
Bonded rubber is an economical surfacing option that uses clean, recycled rubber to create a safe and environmentally responsible playground surface. It is a unitary surface that is available in a variety of colors and provides ADA accessability as well as easy maintenance and durability.
Poured-in-place rubber is an expensive initial investment but it can be the most affordable long-term surfacing option for your playground. It is a thick, springy, durable, and ADA accessible surface that is poured on-site to a depth that matches your playground’s critical fall heights. The base layer is typically a TPV rubber whereas the wear layer can be made from either a softer or harder recycled rubber depending on your site needs.