Impact protection (also called fall protection) is a crucial property of playground safety tiles. It should be the main factor when choosing safety floor for any play area.
Neither grass nor sand provide impact protection, not to mention bare, trodden ground. That such a play area is a great hazard to the safety of children, is stating the obvious. According to the EU playground safety norm (EN 1177), playground surface should provide appropriate impact protection (fall attenuation). It is can be easily attained by installing impact protection tiles.
How is impact protection measured?
The manufacturers of safety floor tiles and safety surfacing should specify the critical fall height value for each impact protection tile. The critical fall height means the capacity of a given safety floor to cushion the impact of a child’s fall from the following, maximal height. Fall heights should be periodically revised and certified by local authorities (e.g. TÜV in Germany). The main criterion for the calculation is the Head Injury Criterion.
This means that impact protection tiles, provided that their fall protection value corresponds to the real conditions on the playground, protect children from head injuries in the first place. However, safety floor tiles greatly reduce the risk of minor injuries and bruises, too.
Are there any other criteria to consider?
Obviously. There are countless safety floor products on the market, and they vary a lot. Firstly, the quality of the material is extremely important, because impact protection tiles made of poor quality rubber will quickly fall apart. The longest tradition of manufacturing rubber granulate tiles has Germany, where safety tiles were first developed. It doesn’t really pay off to buy cheaper counterparts from China, because they will have to be discarded in about 1 – 2 years, as opposed to 15 years, which is an average durability of WARCO tiles.
Secondly, impact protection tiles should be joined to each other in a force-fit way, to avoid tile shifting. With simple, straight-edge tiles, a child can easily have his foot stuck between the tiles, or stumble on them. The best connection between the tiles, joining them into a tight, solid carpet, is the interlocking zip connection. Another solution is a “wet pour” surface, which is seamless and absolutely safe in terms of above-metioned risks. Its disadvantage is complicated and costly installation. In case of problems or partial wear, one cannot simply exchange the area in question as it is with impact protection tiles, but have the whole area renovated.
Another advantage of impact protection tiles with the interlocking zip is a completely unproblematic installation, which doesn’t require gluing or edging the surface. The tiles simply are assembled like a jigsaw puzzle. The protruding “teeth” can be cut off with a wood saw on the edges. As an alternative solution, we might half the tiles destined for the installation in the external row – in this way we will obtain straight edging while the part with profiled ‘teeth’ can be directed inwards the installed surface.
Impact protection tiles online
All in all, among various safety floor types available on the market, impact protection tiles are particularly recommended on outdoor play areas and playgrounds with installed equipment (and therefore a bigger risk of injuries among children). Safety floor tiles made of rubber granulate are the most economical and low-maintenance solution which is available for everybody. WARCO impact protection tiles can be purchased online and delivered to your door in no time. And the good news for individual customers: there is no minimal order quantity! However, if you would like to have your goods delivered free of charge, you must order goods for at least £150.