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Synthetic Grass Helps Increase Activity Levels for Preschoolers

By Denise Valenzuela

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under five play outside as much as possible, A study led by Seattle Children’s Research Institute found that nearly half of U. S. preschoolers did not meet this requirement and it even showed that the kids studied don’t even have one parent-supervised outdoor play opportunity per day. This study recognized that the lack of convenient outdoor play spaces contributes to this trend.  If kids have nowhere that’s comfortable to play outside the play time wont happen. To combat this national trend a growing number of parks and preschools are choosing synthetic grass for their playgrounds to allow more opportunities for young kids to be active.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity rates among children younger than five have doubled over the last two decades.  Synthetic grass playgrounds offer safe, resilient and accessible surfaces that can be used by kids year-round to increase physical activity levels.  Another benefit is that special padding under the turf creates fall safety zones and makes the entire playground more ADA accessible.

New synthetic grass playgrounds nationwide have reclaimed previously unusable spaces for the benefit of the community. Cumberland Park in Nashville, Tennessee was built on a former brown field industrial site adjacent to the Cumberland River reclaimed by park planners working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency. With more than one million visitors expected annually, planners decided to install synthetic grass in heavy activity areas such as playgrounds and a climbing wall because of its durability. The synthetic turf installation incorporates safety features and ability to conserve water.

The City of Nevada manages aquatics and recreation centers and boasts 54 neighborhood and community parks. However soaring summer temperatures caused cracks, separations, peeling and fading in the poured-in-place rubber surfaces used in the playgrounds. They turned to artificial grass to replace dilapidated rubber surfaces in five parks to create more attractive, safer play areas for young children and kids of all ages.

Daycare facilities have also recognized the benefits of synthetic grass playgrounds, like Home Depot’s Early Childhood Development Center at its corporate offices in Atlanta, Georgia. Located at the base of a steep grade, the unique playground from  features synthetic grass hills and valleys and even a lazy river defined by the winding blue turf.

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