Wood Chips or Rubber? Playground Surfaces Can Make Child’s Play Safe or Hazardous


Everlast Rubber Mulch

When schools and city parks create playgrounds they have a choice between choosing rubber or choosing wood chips. According to US Center for Disease Control, (CDC) which “conducts and supports health promotion, prevention and preparedness activities in the United States”, 15% of child injuries have to do with kids falling onto the ground. Experts believe that it is better for parks to use rubber instead of wood chips. 

According to cdc.gov, when children  fall on rubber it has a consistency that is softer than wood chips. Rubber is also cleaner than wood chips because it doesn’t go out of the sidewalk border. It is also a  solid surface unlike wood chips which is lumpy. Rubber is not flammable. Finally rubber uses recycled rubber. One downside to using rubber is that it is high in cost, and it can get worn down easily.

Many cities and school use wood chips for playgrounds because the surface is  inexpensive, and very easy to replace. It is better for the environment, and reuses wood. It is also low maintenance, and it doesn’t need to be kept clean or clear according to wordpress.com. 

However, it may not be the best alternative, as it is messy, and can become stuck in children’s  clothing  and hair. It can also cause injuries, and a child who falls onto a wood chip surface can become injured with splinters and cuts. Wood chip surfaces also allows children to litter, as they bury their trash to get rid of it. It is also hazardous, and any spark or flame near it can start a fire, stated soildirect.com.

Overall, if cost is not prohibitive, rubber playground surfaces are a better choice for communities, schools, and the children they service.