ERIC Number: ED393587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Protective Surfacing for Playgrounds.
Frost, Joe L.
Noting that 90 percent of serious playground injuries result from falls to hard surfaces, this paper reviews the advantages and disadvantages of various playground surfacing materials in terms of cost, climate, durability, aesthetics, and play value. Findings are based on the personal experience of the author, government documents, laboratory tests, manufacturers' literature, and interviews with playground equipment and surfacing manufacturers, as well as school and park maintenance personnel. The report lists findings of a previous comparative study of surfacing materials including commercial, loose organic, loose inorganic, and other loose materials. In a discussion of installation issues, the report suggests that recycled plastic timbers are easier to install than wood or concrete. Noting the special concerns of buyers in extremely cold and hot climates, the report examines weather effects on surfacing. In an examination of cost considerations, the report suggests that the safety benefits of unitary surfacing may outweigh its initial relatively high cost. A discussion of impact attenuation of various surfaces concludes that no single surfacing material is best for all conditions and warns buyers to consider carefully issues such as manufacturer reputation and laboratory test results before buying. (Contains 11 references.) (AJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Playground Design; Playground Equipment; Product Safety; Surfacing Materials