Playground Sand as Safety Surfacing

Did you know that sand can be used as playground safety surfacing? This unique surfacing option offers lots of fun and sensory play for children. As you decide on your playground surfacing, there are a couple things to note about playground sand such as its cost, maintenance, and low ADA accessibility. Read more below!

How Sand Becomes Playground Sand

Kids love playing in sand!

Regular sand goes through multiple steps to become safe for playground use. First, the sand is washed in order to get rid of any unwanted debris, bacteria, and other minerals. Then, the sand is sprayed with a water pressurizer to round out the larger particles that were previously sharp. Afterwards, the playground sand goes through a sieve analysis to evaluate and assess the particle size distribution.


The Different Types of Sand

Having sand will add to your play theme!
  • -30 Play Sand
      • This type of sand is mainly used for playgrounds in public parks and schools. Minus 30 play sand is tested and rated for safety and therefore is recommended for playground areas that will experience heavy use.
      • -30 Play Sand is more expensive than Wash Plaster Sand and even more so compared to other surfacing options as the heavy weight of sand is costly to ship.
  • Wash Plaster Sand
      • Commonly used for masonry applications, Wash Plaster Sand or WPS is fine particle construction sand. Typically more affordable than -30 play sand, the WPS is suitable for residential or private school sandboxes where there would be less usage.

Maintenance and Safety

sand surfacing
Sand can also serve as surfacing underneath swings!

According to the National Safety Council, loose fill safety surfacing such as sand, engineered wood fiber, or loose fill rubber mulch should have an even level of at least 12 inches in depth for shock absorbency. The depth can vary depending on the play equipment’s fall height.

Compared to other surfacing options, frequent maintenance is required for sand to ensure the surfacing is safe. Sand can easily be displaced as children run around the playground or in locations with heavy winds. This can create a potential safety hazard when there are uneven depths and levels of surfacing. Thus, it is recommended to rake through the playground sand to guarantee that it is evenly distributed at a depth of 12 inches.

In addition, most sands contain crystalline silica which is the same as the quartz grains found on beaches and lakes. Crystalline silica does not pose any harm unless tiny particles are inhaled. Therefore, if you have concerns about your kids inhaling the dust particles, it is suggested to lightly spray down the surface with water. This would reduce the possibility of dust particles being breathed in.

Why Choose Zoom Recreation?

At Zoom Recreation, we will work with you to create a playground space you and your kids will love. We strive to provide high quality surfacing materials and commercial playground equipment. Give us a call today at 866-234-3392 or fill out a contact form and we’ll quickly get back to you! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for our daily posts and latest updates!