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Rubber mulch-outside space

  • 1.  Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 23 days ago
    Good afternoon,
    We are currently looking into adding Rubber mulch into our toddler playground. The company has assured us this is a safe mulch to use on commercial playgrounds. I have seen peer reviewed articles indicating that Rubber Mulch can be "toxic" to children. Does NAEYC have any requirements or additional information regarding this concern?

    I look forward to hearing comments regarding this concern!


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    NAIOKI WOOD
    Education Assistant Director
    Sarfan Early Childhood Center
    Newport News VA
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  • 2.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 23 days ago
      |   view attached
    I don't know of anything that NAEYC says about this but I'm attaching a PDF of a rebuttal to the benefits of rubber mulch that I found very helpful in planning my playground when I was a preschool director. It's from a company committed to organic and natural solutions.

    "There seems to be two schools of thought on rubber mulch. It seems that all the studies paid for by the rubber mulch manufacturers and tire companies show benefits after their PR firms get through with them, while all the independent studies show that it is toxic and dangerous."

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    Kim Swaffield
    Coach
    Indiana AEYC
    Indianapolis IN
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    Attachment(s)

    pdf
    19.8RubberMulch.pdf   159K 1 version


  • 3.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 23 days ago
    We have the Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch.  The company claims it's not made from tires, but rather the scraps that are left behind from cutting rubber floor tiles that are used in hospitals.  Nevertheless, I strongly dislike it.  It's not ADA-compliant.  We had a little girl who required a walker, and she couldn't navigate through it.  Kids can't ride bikes on it.  It's horribly dirty.  The kids dig in it and their little fingernails get black, as well as their clothing.  They throw it at each other, put it in their mouths, fill their pockets with it and bring it inside and/or home.  I can appreciate that it's a nice soft landing if anybody falls, but that's about the only perk I've found.  It is my hope to fundraise next year for the impact-absorbent smooth playground surface that is made of rubber, but flat.

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    Audra Detillier
    Director
    Celebration Christian Daycare
    Metairie LA
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  • 4.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 23 days ago
    I second Audra's comments, we had all of the same issues, not to mention as children run/walk over it - it spreads out and you're not maintaining proper fall zone depths under climbers (without constantly raking it back into place).  You will have almost bare areas on traveled paths and lots that end up getting through the bottom of a chain link fence around a playground. We had it and replaced it with impact-resistant poured surfaces and couldn't be happier.

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    Kim Spankowski
    Education Director
    Grandma's House Day Care Center
    Brookfield WI
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  • 5.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 22 days ago
    I did my student teaching at a center that had the rubber mulch in the toddler area and it was a constant battle to keep it out of their mouths. Then I worked at a center that had the rubber surface in the infant area. It was a solid piece, not mulched, and the poor babies clothes, legs, and hands would be black from sitting and crawling and their knees would be scrapped up within a few minutes if they had bare knees and were crawling. I have never been a fan of this material after my interactions with it.

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    Brooke Hastings
    Kendallville IN
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  • 6.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 22 days ago
    Hello,
    Check Publication 325 at the Consumer Product Safety Commission webisite for information on Playgrounds. csps.gov.  Put in the search box publication 325.  Pub. 324 is for Home Playgrounds.
    Randall Garratt, Ph.D.

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    Randall Garratt
    IAP Coach
    Indiana AEYC
    Evansville IN
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  • 7.  RE: Rubber mulch-outside space

    Posted 22 days ago
    Thank you all for your responses! It has been extremely helpful in determining the outcome of our toddler outdoor space.


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    NAIOKI WOOD
    Program Administrator
    Sarfan Early Childhood Center
    Newport News VA
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