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What are playground tiles? What is playground surfacing?

A playground surface is typically whatever surface is on the ground around playground equipment like slides, monkeybards, teeter tots, swings, etc. In modern times, many cities have gone above and beyond to protect their kids. Or in some cases, soft earth itself isn't available, it's covered over with asphalt. For whatever reason, sometimes other materials are used to cover the surface of a playground. This is typically referred to as playground tiles - playground surfacing is just another term for it. Playground tiles can also be substituted with poured rubber or loose rubber mulch. Playground tiles are typically made out of rubber as well. Sometimes wood mulch is used.

These types of surfaces are liked not only for their safety but also because they're supposedly eco-friendly and made out of recycled materials. Part of the reasons for it is aesthetics but moreso it's about child safety. They can also be wood chips, bark mulch, rubber mulch or artificial turf grass. Sometimes even simply sand or dirt is used.

Believe it or not, in the US alone, over 200,000 children have a playground injury that requires a trip to the emergency room. If you want to count visits to doctors as well, you're talking about upwards of half a million playground injuries per year in the United States. About half of these result from a fall to the playground surface that can cause concussions, dislocations, broken bones and more. It is for these reasons that playground tiles are very important to children's playground safety.

However, a fine balance must be reached to satisfy all children. The  Americans with Disabilities Act has required a certain level of firmness for children with disabilities. For instance, the playground tiles must be firm enough for wheelchairs to be able to get over. 

That's it in a nutshell although there's much more to say about playground surfacing!