Synthetic Turf Specialist

TigerTurf safe playground surfaces, because… kids don’t bounce

By admin on November 25, 2014

We carefully consider critical fall heights during the design of TigerTurf safe playground systems for children.

The TigerTurf research and development team at our dedicated R&D centre in Britain regard safety as integral to the design and installation of all our turfs.

Head injuries caused by falls from play equipment

Children fall. It is part of growing up, but TigerTurf makes sure they fall safely, taking the risk of serious harm out of playgrounds. Statistics gathered by Safekids New Zealand show that fall-related injuries, which include falling from playground equipment, are the leading cause of unintentional child injury that result in hospital admission. Between 2005 and 2009, during each year, more than 1700 children aged 5 to 9 were admitted to hospital after suffering falls (according to data from the University of Otago). All were preventable injuries.

“Recent research shows that repeated “little taps to the head” from a fall in the playground or while playing sports could lead to brain injuries later in life. Children’s heads are more fragile at that age and we need to be trying to reduce these horrific fall statistics.” (Safekids director, Ann Weaver)

Safe playground surfaces reduce the impact of falls

All TigerTurf’s playground surfaces have been tested to be fully compliant for impact reduction up to 3 metres. Critical fall heights are calculated to judge the required thickness of the shock-pad underneath the surface. This shock-pad is essential to prevent serious injury to your child.

TigerTurf installed 45mm TigerPad to meet fall height requirements of up to 3 metres at Papatoetoe Central School.  The existing playground surface of bark and tiles wasn’t suitable, so the school asked us for suggestions. The height of the play equipment made a shock pad mandatory, and we also specified a stable, well-draining base that would keep the play area safe to use, even after heavy rain. Topped by lush green TigerTurf Envy artificial grass, the play area became a safe, attractive feature of the school.

Hauraki School's playground also had a messy, high maintenance bark surface. We were asked to recommend a better surface. Again, 45mm shock pad was required to meet critical fall height regulations. We installed a dynamic shock pad which met the different fall heights of the various structures in the playground, and topped it with a soft, easy care TigerTurf Summer Envy lawn.

Critical fall height must be correctly calculated

Critical fall height for playground surfaces is relative to the height of the highest part of the play equipment that children might stand on, so let’s have a closer look at what it all means.

The critical fall height is measured by equipment that uses a head-shaped weight, which is dropped from varying heights. The impact on the surface material is measured for each height. These measurements are then used in the calculations to determine the thickness of shock-pad required to reduce the impact caused by a fall from a particular height.

TigerTurf playground systems reduce the risk of fall injuries

TigerPlay durable synthetic grass is especially designed for children to play on. Its fibres are softer than many other products, and non-abrasive. Available in several fresh, bright colours, it creates vibrant, stimulating play areas for children to play on, and play safely. Our landscape turfs are also popular, giving a very natural lawn surface that can be laid over a combination of shock pads to meet various critical fall height regulations. Synthetic turf surfaces are safe, hygienic, and durable, needing little maintenance, unlike bark or other fills.

Make your play area safe for children by using the correct thickness of shock pad, based on the height of the highest part of the equipment that the children can stand on. For example, play equipment up to 1.5m must have a safety surface impact area beneath of least 1.5m².

Please give TigerTurf a call if you are uncertain of the fall height requirements for your facility.  We have a number of combinations and products that meet fall heights regulations and can help you choose the right combination for your playground.

How can we help?

TigerTurf manufactures and installs high quality products for a range of sports, leisure and landscape applications.

We are committed to providing expert knowledge and advice on synthetic turf products and systems, along with exceptional customer service before, during and after your purchase.