PITTSBURGH, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The start of spring marks the return of millions of children to playgrounds across the United States. This time of year also underscores the need to ensure that children stay safe on the playground. In honor of National Playground Safety Week (April 25-29), LTR Products, manufacturer of Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, is offering some tips and advice for how to make playgrounds safer this spring and all year long.
"Here's a sobering statistic. More than 200,000 children are injured each year as a result of playground falls," said Brad Pittam, general manager of LTR Products. "That's why it's critical for playgrounds to have a safety surface, such as Pinnacle Rubber Mulch that provides proper fall height protection."
According to the Public Playground Safety Handbook published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), surfacing under and around playground equipment is one of the most important factors in reducing the likelihood of life-threatening head injuries. As a playground safety surface, a 6-inch layer of recycled rubber mulch will cushion a child's fall better from 8 to 12 feet than grass, dirt, engineered wood fiber (wood mulch), rubber tiles and poured in place surfaces. In fact, some playground surfaces offer less head impact protection than a car with a "Poor" 40 MPH front offset crash rating according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety test standards.
Even the best playground safety surfacing cannot perform at the optimal level if it is not properly installed and maintained. When installing rubber mulch, the "rule of six" should be applied. This means that the surface beneath playground equipment should be covered at least 6 inches deep with recycled rubber mulch extending at least 6 feet in all directions surrounding the equipment.
Pittam added that proper playground maintenance is also critical. While rubber mulch requires little maintenance, it is important for playgrounds to be inspected on a regular basis. The surface of the playground area must be raked and compacted to ensure consistent and proper installed depths. High traffic areas such as around swings, slides and stairs are common areas where rubber mulch can be dispersed. For optimal protection, a consistent 6 inch depth must be maintained in these areas.
Introduced in 2009, Pinnacle Rubber Mulch is an innovative alternative to traditional wood mulch for landscaping and playground surfacing. It is non-allergenic, non-toxic and harmless to plants, pets and children. Plus, rubber mulch is clean, minimizes airborne dust and particles, and will never splinter like wood mulch.
Introduced by LTR Products in December 2009, Pinnacle Rubber Mulch is an innovative alternative to traditional wood mulch for landscaping and playground surfacing. Pinnacle Rubber Mulch saves money by remaining bright and plush for at least 12 years with minimal maintenance. It is resistant to wind and water erosion, bug and rodent infestation, fading caused by sunlight, and decomposition. Unlike wood mulch, Pinnacle Rubber Mulch does not compress, thereby providing a thick and luxurious base material for landscape beds. As safety surfacing, a six-inch layer of Pinnacle Rubber Mulch will cushion a child's fall from as high as 16 feet. For more information about Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, please visit www.pinnaclemulch.com.
About LTR Products
As a subsidiary of Liberty Tire Recycling, the premier provider of tire recycling services in North America., LTR Products is a creative outlet for advanced rubber-based products. Each year, LTR Products manufactures the raw materials from millions of discarded tires into innovative products such as Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood mulch. Along with Liberty Tire Recycling, the company maintains a nationwide network of processing plants and convenient shipping points. LTR Products is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, please visit www.ltrproducts.com.