Does Your Playground Have Game? Kid Kushion is the name—safety is their game

Fall into the best of both worlds with safe, durable and environmentally-friendly Kid Kushion tiles manufactured by Environmental Molding Concepts (EMC). Although there’s nothing that can guarantee a child will never fall on the playground, EMC safety surfacing products are there to ease the fall and help reduce the risk of injury. 

Over the past 25 years, safety has become a growing concern, which has brought the words safety and surfacing together for playgrounds as well as fitness and daycare facilities. EMC has made sure that safety and surfacing go hand in hand in its manufacturing process. 

In the beginning, EMC was mostly concerned with simply responding to the consumer demand for improving playground safety but could also see that by bringing the recycling process full circle using the byproduct of its sister company BAS Recycling, EMC could also help the environment.

Founded in 1989, BAS Recycling has become one of the more stable tire recycling facilities in California, providing crumb rubber recycled from tires collected locally in California for asphalt roadway surfacing companies and poured-in-place playground and synthetic turf companies. 

What’s so great about recycled crumb rubber? The word crumb doesn’t necessarily lend itself to sounding stable, but when used in playground surfacing, it offers a tighter and smoother surface than the larger strands of recycled rubber. Combined with the use of top-grade polyurethane binder and EPDM granules, this creates a high-quality, durable surface made to handle the ups and downs of children engaged in an active playground experience.

In 1997, EMC was created with this environmentally-safe, durable product in mind and since then has always strived to manufacture the best quality playground tile on the market while continuing to work on new designs to improve on its already superior product.

EMC safety surfacing, made 100 percent from recycled crumb rubber, maintains the highest quality while “[working to] ensure thorough customer service while delivering the finest quality recycled rubber product available, resulting in long-term complete client satisfaction,” says Joel Lucas, director of Sales and Marketing.

If you have done any research at all on playground equipment, you are probably familiar with IPEMA (International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association),  which sets standards for and certifies playground surfacing for specific fall heights as per Federal ASTM-1292-99 testing (for Head Impact Attenuation). CPSC also uses this same test to determine the safety of the playground surfacing. For instance, a potential six-foot fall requires a two and one-half inch safety surface thickness to comply with IPEMA standards. There are different requirements for different fall heights, and EMC has made sure that it manufactures different tile thickness to meet these requirements.

The great thing about using the tiles is that in most playgrounds you will notice that different play structures are, of course, different heights, requiring a different thickness in each area, so using tiles allows you to place tiles of different thickness in the required areas to meet the various fall height standards.

Using tiles also mean easy installation, and there are a few options available. While it is better to be able to have concrete or asphalt sub-surface, you won’t be limited by having a compacted dirt or crushed rock surface. Whatever the surface, you will want a stable, solid surface with a small grade allowing for heavy rainfall to drain. Just be sure to seal the tiles so that water will not be able to puddle beneath and cause dips that affect the appearance over time.

The single-component adhesive works well because it actually contains the same bonding agent used in the manufacturing of Kid Kushion tiles. It keeps the tiles from slipping after installation, making an even more secure play surface and also makes it theft-proof. 

You may even want to install your tiles with aluminum metal clips. These do make it possible to remove the tiles from the original location and easily move them. 

Nothing says you can’t use both the clips and adhesive for installation. With this option, you would likely secure the center tile pieces with clips and the rest of the tiles with the adhesive, resulting in a surface locked together and sealed by a glued down perimeter. 

Over the past few years, EMC has also added an emphasis on the thinner surfaces such as their one-inch SportPlay Mat. Tumbled Turf, a colored rubber mulch product, has also come to being through the company’s creative efforts.