Playground surfacing: Are wood chips safe?

School and park playgrounds play an important role in the life of a child, helping them grow developmentally, play and stay entertained. However, children often tumble off playground equipment and hurt themselves, simply from the force of impact with the ground. For this reason, playground areas require shock absorbing material. Among the most preferred absorbent materials placed beneath and around playground facilities are playground wood chips. 

Why Use Playground Wood Chips?

Pea gravel and rubber surfaces may sound like ideal options for cushioned play area surfaces, but they have their drawbacks and don’t deliver the efficiency and flexibility of playground wood chips. The benefits of playground mulch include:


Playground wood chips often exceed ADA, ASTM, and CPSC playground surfacing standards. According to several studies [pdf], wood chips are the most effective surfaces for averting surface injuries. In addition, they are less sensitive to extreme temperatures. Hence, they can protect your kids during the heat of summer as well as the cold of winter.

playground surfaces

Playground Wood Chips

Cost efficiency

Compared to other alternatives, playground wood chips have less expenses for long-term maintenance. No other material is as safe or easy to maintain. To ensure that the wood chips maintain absorbency and sufficient depth, you should perform regular playgound wood chip top-ups. Even with occasional top-ups, playground wood chips still remain the most cost-effective option.

Aesthetic Appeal

When you use playground wood chips instead of rubber, asphalt, or gravel, your playground will look like a playground – not a factory yard. It is an organic visual landscape for both you and your children and enriches the childhood experience.

ADA Accessible

Playground wood chips meet all standard surfacing requirements. As such, they allow all kids to play, thanks to their ADA accessibility.

What are the Best Wood Chips?

Many types of wood-chip products look quite similar, but they may not provide the same protection. Engineered Wood Fibre (EWF) is the recommended wood chip product for use as playground cover. Besides its high shock absorbency, EWF has more beneficial features than other wood chips.

Keeping Children at Heart

Playgrounds are an indispensable part of any childhood experience. Whether it is at school or the park, playgrounds are places where kids of all ages can let their imagination to reign free. Since imaginative adventures can also include potentially dangerous ones, as a playground administrator it’s critical to ensure that playgrounds are fun and safe. So use an accredited cushioned surface, serviced by Denbow personnel that are BC Parks and Recreation certified in playgound safety.