Being a father of four, my number one priority as a parent was always the safety of my children. Especially when they are playing on the playground that has equipment higher than 5 feet. I have purchased many playground sets, swing sets, and trampolines. And every time my four boys would climb on any playground equipment my anxiety grew. I wasn’t worried about my sons climbing capabilities, I encouraged them to do that…. I was more worried about their falling capabilities.
Falling on surfaces that created injury and sometimes death has evolved over the decades. There are new standards to the industry when it comes to testing fall surfaces and each playgrounds safety requirements. IPEMA (international play equipment manufacturing association) has written guidelines and created safety requirements for the playground industry.
I was fortunate in the past to have been asked to help remodel and design new playgrounds for a private school that has playgrounds throughout many states. They spoke to me in compassion of how many children were being rushed to the nurse’s office and sometimes to the hospital. During this relationship I learned so much from the existing surfaces that I was to remove and replace with synthetic turf. I traveled to each playground surface and spent extensive time studying its surface and how I can help make it safer and better without the heavy maintenance that playground surfaces require. I studied Pea Gravel playgrounds, Wood Chip playgrounds, small and large Rubber Mulch playgrounds. I had not only witnessed fall patterns and traffic wear, but noticed settlement within the subgrade material due to improper drainage and water runoff, which assisted in the damage of the playing surface.