Fall Protection

The Consumer Product Safety Commission states, "Surfacing under and around playground equipment is one of the most important factors in reducing the likelihood of life-threatening head injuries."

The most widely used test method for fall protection is ASTM F1292 Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surface Systems Under and Around Playground Equipment. ASTM is an international organization that sets safety standards for many industries, including playgrounds.

ASTM F1292 provides a critical height rating of the surface. This height approximates the fall height below which a life-threatening head injury would not be expected to occur. The fall height of a piece of equipment is the distance between the highest designated play surface on a piece of equipment and the protective surface beneath it. Rainbow Mulch is ASTM F1292 safety tested at three inches of depth for a 20 ft. critical height.

Residential playgrounds have different requirements than public playgrounds. However, parents must consider surfacing material with superior fall protection. Each year, about 50,000 kids visit the emergency room due to an injury on a home playground.

It's important to note that loose-fill surface material, while effective, requires regular maintenance. Neglecting this could lead to uneven distribution, potentially increasing the risk of injury. Therefore, it’s best to rake it regularly for even distribution in critical areas.