Artificial turf has been gaining popularity in playgrounds due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. However, many parents and caregivers are concerned about the safety of artificial turf playgrounds. Artificial turf playgrounds have been linked to various safety concerns, including heat retention, abrasions, and potential exposure to harmful chemicals. Let's discuss each of these concerns and what to consider when choosing the right surface for your playground.
Looking to Make the Switch From Sod to Turf?
Artificial turf has been known to retain heat, especially on hot summer days in Florida. The temperature of the turf can increase to a point where it becomes too hot to play on. This can lead to burns or heat exhaustion, which can be dangerous, especially for young children. It's important to note that heat retention is not exclusive to artificial turf, as natural grass can also retain heat. However, natural grass can provide shade and cooler temperatures due to its natural properties.
Artificial turf has a rough surface that can cause abrasions and scrapes. Children playing on the turf can fall and scrape their knees, elbows, or other body parts, leading to cuts and bruises. This is especially true for older or worn-out turf, which can become rougher and more abrasive over time. Proper maintenance and regular inspection of the turf can help prevent these injuries.
Artificial turf is made up of various materials, including plastic, rubber, and infill. The infill is typically made of recycled rubber, which can contain harmful chemicals such as lead and phthalates. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to health problems, especially for young children who are more susceptible to these chemicals' effects. It's important to note that not all artificial turf contains these chemicals, and there are safer options available on the market. Be sure to research the type of turf and infill used in your playground and opt for safer alternatives if necessary.
Safety Factors to Consider for Artificial Turf Playgrounds
When choosing an artificial turf playground, it's essential to consider the safety features of the surface. Here are some factors to keep in mind when selecting the right surface for your playground:
Synthetic Turf Quality
The quality of the turf plays a significant role in its safety. Choose a high-quality turf that has a soft, cushioned surface that can absorb impact and reduce the risk of injury. High-quality turf can also last longer and require less maintenance, saving you money in the long run.
The infill material is a crucial factor in the safety of artificial turf. Choose a safer infill material that is free of harmful chemicals such as lead and phthalates. Some safer options include coconut fiber, cork, and sand.
Artificial Grass Maintenance
Proper maintenance of artificial turf can help prevent injuries and prolong the surface's lifespan. Regular inspection and maintenance can help identify any worn-out or rough areas that can cause abrasions or injuries. Cleaning the surface regularly can also help prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances.
Consider the climate of your area when selecting an artificial turf playground. If you live in a hot climate, as we do here in Florida, opt for turf that has cooling properties to reduce the risk of heat retention. If you live in an area with heavy rain, choose a turf that can drain quickly to prevent standing water, which can be a safety hazard.
Ensure that the artificial turf playground meets safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These standards ensure that the surface is safe for children to play on and can withstand wear and tear over time.
DelaTurf Helps Families Play Safely
Artificial turf playgrounds can be safe and enjoyable for children if the right safety features are considered. Heat retention, abrasions, and potential exposure to harmful chemicals are common safety concerns related to artificial turf playgrounds, but they can be mitigated by selecting high-quality turf, safer infill material, proper maintenance, climate considerations, and adhering to safety standards.
When choosing an artificial turf playground, we here at DelaTurf will always prioritize safety to ensure that children can play freely without the risk of injury or harm. With the right safety measures in place, artificial turf playgrounds can be a great option for schools, parks, and communities to provide a durable and low-maintenance playground surface.
The Grass is ALWAYS Greener with DelaTurf
DelaTurf services the following areas:
Orange County, Seminole County, Lake County, Osceola County, Volusia County, and Broward County. Our team commonly operates in Metro West, Doctor Phillips, Windermere, Kissimmee, Winter Garden, Gotha, Oviedo, Oakland, Apopka, College Park, Winter Park, Sorrento, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Heathrow, & Sanford.