Safety is a prime concern for daycare and childcare center owners. From the furniture to the outdoor spaces, daycare providers do everything in their capacity to create a safe and enjoyable environment for kids.
Whether they are playing, crawling around, or simply exploring, flooring is where kids spend most of their indoor time. Hence, it’s important to provide them with a surface that’s safe and won’t cause rug burns.
In this post, we have shared useful tips on how to select an ideal surfacing for your daycare. Later in the post, you’ll also find the not-so-ideal options.
Daycares Safety Surfacing Features
Children, especially toddlers and young kids, spend a lot of time crawling, sitting, roughhousing, or moving around on the flooring. That’s a normal day for them. It helps them learn new skills, socialize, and have fun. Hence, when choosing a safety flooring for a childcare center, it’s important to pay attention to their needs.
Consider these features when opting for a suitable surfacing for your childcare center.
Not all the surfaces are easy on the little feet. For instance, a tiled surface or the conventional ceramic is inflexible and leads to a lot of strain on the feet.
Since your daycare members like to be on their feet at all times, they deserve a soft, cushiony, and comfortable surface. Soft surfaces cradle the feet and reduce the strain on their delicate feet muscles and joints.
2. High Traction
Children are naturally curious and tend to climb on everything they find intriguing. Hence, slips and falls are a part of their overall development. But when these falls result in serious injuries and fractures, the daycare staff is held liable as they are responsible for the child’s safety.
Hence, it’s important to apply a surfacing material that offers adequate grip underfoot. For instance, rubber is one surfacing material that has a high coefficient of friction. Hence, it can significantly reduce the chances of children slipping or injuring themselves, even on wet surfaces.
Thus, installing a safe surface like rubber can help in creating a safe environment where kids can practice and develop new skills.
3. High Shock Absorbing Potential
As mentioned above, falling and stumbling is a normal part of a child’s growing years. But there are two factors that determine the seriousness of a fall, namely –
- The height from which a child falls. The lesser the height the lower is the risk.
- The surface on which the child falls. Hard surfaces like concrete or ceramic tiles can be unforgiving, causing serious injuries. On the other hand, a springy surface like rubber has the capacity to absorb the shock and reduce the severity of the impact.
The surface you choose should possess excellent shock-absorbing potential.
4. Quiet Surface
Daycares tend to have kids of all age groups. On one hand, we have toddlers and infants who need their share of sleep, and on the other, we have school-going kids who may want to finish their homework with minimum disturbance. As a daycare provider, you need to ensure a peaceful and productive environment for all.
Hence, daycares should install a quiet surface that has the potential to absorb and prevent the transmission of sound waves. Rubber and cork are excellent choices when it comes to quiet surfaces, except that cork is porous and prone to moisture damage.
With their hands and feet on the floor, your childcare center needs a surface that’s inhospitable to pathogens. Moreover, with kids, accidental spills are quite common. And not to forget, the mess they create when they play with clay or sand.
So, the surface should also be easy to clean and non-absorbent, allowing the caretakers to easily wipe off the spill before it penetrates and damages the subfloor.
6. High Durability
Daycare and kindergarten floors take most of the battering. The flooring needs to be versatile and durable enough to play the role of a car racetrack, a dance floor, or a cartwheel zone.
You need a hard-wearing surface that can withstand the foot traffic of the kids and the caretakers.
Rubber Surfacing: The Most Recommended Surface for Daycares
When we consider the above features, the only option that ticks all the boxes is poured-in-place rubber surfacing. Rubber is a versatile flooring material that’s ideal for the following reasons.
- It’s hard-wearing and can stand up to heavy traffic and intensive activities.
- It’s a springy surface that’s comfortable underfoot. Hence, rubber surfaces do not cause feet fatigue.
- It’s an anti-skip surface. Hence, it reduces the risk of slips and falls.
- It can absorb shocks. Hence, even if a kid falls from a height they will not suffer serious injuries.
- It is a quiet surface that absorbs sound waves and their transmission. No wonder, rubber surfacing is installed in apartments and movie theatres.
- It’s easy to clean and maintain.
- It is inhospitable to disease-causing pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and fungi, making it a hygienic surface.
- It is impervious to water. Hence, the surface doesn’t allow moisture to immediately seep into the subfloor.
Inappropriate Surfaces for Daycares
By now, you may be already convinced that rubber is a great flooring choice for childcare centers. Yet, it’s important to let you know about the flooring options that are an absolute no.
- Ceramic tile flooring – These surfaces are hard and have a low coefficient of friction. Hence, they are unsafe for spaces frequented by children.
- Carpet – Wall-to-wall carpeting may seem like a great option for childcare centers as it’s soft and offers adequate cushioning underfoot. However, carpets are home to pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and mold.
Moreover, in case of spills, the surface tends to absorb the fluids, damaging the subfloor and giving off an offensive odor in the long term.
- Cork – Cork is soft and possesses noise-canceling properties. However, the surface is porous. Hence, any spill needs to be wiped off immediately, else it will seep into the flooring.
Moreover, cork isn’t a durable surface as it’s prone to scratches and stains.
For all daycare providers, the safety of kids is paramount. Hence, they need to invest in a surface that’s safe and hygienic. Poured-in-place rubber surfacing is an ideal flooring option as it meets all the criteria we’ve discussed above.
If you are considering a new surface for your childcare center, get in touch with the River Rock Resurfacing team. We have been offering residential and commercial flooring solutions for more than three decades. Call us now and we will guide you with the best flooring solutions.