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How to Design and Build a Safe and Fun Playground for Children. Building a playground is tough and one of the most important aspects is the surface on which the playground rests. Playgrounds have many different options and surfaces to pick from, and some are safer than others. Deciding on the wrong surface can be devastating with regards to injuries and toxic materials. Children will fall at one point or another and the outcomes of that fall will depend on the surface of the playground. The potential injuries can range from mild to possibly severe. Materials like asphalt, concrete, and black top are unsafe on any playground under any condition if you want your children to lead a healthy life free of injury. These kinds of materials are also unacceptable for playgrounds to founded upon. It is also unsuitable to use grass, soil and packed earth because these material deteriorate and can erode based on ever changing weather conditions. This can cause unsafe landing conditions. You need to make sure the playground is away from tree roots, stumps, rocks and other dangerous items that could potentially cause injury. You need to make sure there are no other items like broken glass and dangerous trash in the area when building the playground.
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There are a bunch of safe materials you can pick from when building a playground for the neighborhood, friends, and family. These materials will help you ensure that you are creating a safe environment for your children to play and have fun.
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Fill the playground and its surface with materials like pea gravel, shredded rubber, sand, wood chips and mulch. If you use wood chips please be aware that they should be free of the chemical chromated copper arsenate, as this can pose a potential health hazard. It is important to keep a few things in mind when you’re deciding upon a material for your playground surface and the foundation base. If your playground happens to be no higher than 8ft you need to keep the surface material at least 12 inches deep for safety purposes in case a child falls in a high wear area. The playground you build should extend at least 6ft past the playground equipment for optimal safety. If the slides or swings are higher than you may need more coverage past the 6ft mark. Also, it is wise to provide wheelchair access using rubber mats so the disabled can play as well. If your playground happens to be built over a hard surface make sure you use a layer of geo-textile cloth to help protect against hard impacts, like from falling children. The main goal of a playground is to have fun, but it’s also important to keep children playing safe. It is important to follow all the safety protocols in order to achieve both of these things for your children and parents.