America’s children are getting increasingly less outdoor exercise, studies show. This problem, which contributes to childhood illnesses and obesity, is made worse with the approach of winter snow and ice. As the temperatures drop and snow moves in, traditional play areas of gravel, dirt and sod play simply become unusable.
The use of NewGrass® to create year-round play areas is one way families and schools from coast to coast have directly and successfully addressed the challenge of getting kids moving outside.
“We’ve had great success with NewGrass® on all kinds and sizes of play areas and in all kinds of climates and weather conditions,” says Gregory Goehner, President of NewGrass, the artificial grass of choice when water conservation and being environmentally and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy in any season.
A play area covered in NewGrass®, for example, is usable even after a snowfall, because it’s installed in a way that lets water simply drain through.
Installing NewGrass® in backyard play areas, school playgrounds and other settings is one way to act on the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this year that children under five play outside as much as possible.
“Today’s children are four times less active in their day-to-day lives than their grandparents were,” the AAP report says. “That kind of statistic is troubling and calls for some parental intervention.”
A recent study published in the online JAMA Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine meanwhile found that nearly half of all U.S. preschoolers don’t even have one chance each day to play outdoors under a parent’s supervision.
“Preschool age children should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day,” says the report’s author, Pooja Tandon, MD, MPH, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “But many preschoolers are not meeting that recommendation. Young children need more opportunities to play outdoors and to help them be more active.”
“NewGrass® is an eco-friendly, natural-looking and incredibly safe alternative to any other kind of surface under our play sets,” Goehner said. “It eliminates the kind of injuries a child can suffer from a fall on gravel, sand or dirt. We’re also very big on the fact that NewGrass® is lead-safe.”
Sand and wood chips create cushioned surfaces, but both are messy, scatter easily, routinely need to be replenished and are unusable after a snowfall or heavy rain. Perhaps least appealing of all, sand and wood chips can attract cats, who consider these coverings to be one big litter box.
Turf grass and its weeds can aggravate allergies, plus they require fertilizers, pesticides, watering and maintenance. NewGrass® is hypo-allergenic, doesn’t stain clothes and prevents dirt and mud from being tracked inside.