Archive for the 'Child Discussions' Category

Five Reasons to Think About Where the Kids Will Play Come Fall and Winter

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

While summer may still be with us, in addition to vacations and sunburn, it brings five good reminders about why you should consider replacing your turf lawn or gravel or dirt play area with natural-feeling, low-maintenance artificial grass like NewGrass®:

  1. You’re already tired of the hassles — and costs — that go along with watering and maintaining your turf lawn.
  2. Worse, you’re already sad over seeing your natural sod grass wither under the rules of local water restrictions.
  3. Your gravel or dirt play areas have turned to messy mud lots during the rains (and they’ll be hard as rock come winter).
  4. Your children have suffered injuries on those same play areas — or on the lawn.
  5. The grass that’s great for romping on is making everyone’s allergies go off the charts.

1. The hassles and costs of watering and maintaining your lawn. WaterSense, an EPA partnership program, estimates that nationwide, irrigating home landscapes accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. In some regions, like California and the Southwest, as much as 60 percent of home’s water bill goes to keeping lawns and gardens green.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University reports that for lawns in the United States, we use 580 million gallons of gasoline for lawnmowers and spend:

  • $25 billion for the lawn care industry
  • $5.25 million on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers
  • $700 million on 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides

2. Droughts and the expansion of water restrictions.
NewGrass® applauds and supports water conservation nationwide. Water is, after all, among our most important natural resources — and the one for which we haven’t found a man-made or natural option. In response to ongoing draught conditions and calls for water conservation, local water districts, regional government authorities, and states from coast to coast have implemented drastic residential watering restrictions.

3. The mess of gravel and dirt play areas in rainy or snowy weather. A study published by JAMA Pediatrics 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. And that’s in good weather!
“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 play sets. It eliminates the kind of injuries a child can suffer from a fall on gravel, sand or dirt and NewGrass® is tested 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.

4. Injuries on turf grass and gravel play areas. More than 500,000 children a year are injured on playground equipment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Three-fourths of playground injuries are attributed to falls, so choosing an appropriate surface is the most important playground decision that school officials will make.

Obviously, the same is true when considering a surface for a play area at home. In fact, about one-fourth of all serious playground injuries occur in the backyard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children aren’t the only victims of injuries related to turf grass and play areas. The Earth Institute says 60,000 to 70,000 severe accidents result from lawnmowers every year.

5. Allergies and other ailments spawned by sod grass. Itchy eyes and nose, nasal discharge, blocked nasal passages, sinus headache, sneezing, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of allergies caused by dust, mold, pollen, grass and trees.
Allergies have no cure. Prevention is the only course of action – trying to eliminate or minimize a child’s exposure to allergens. Another option obviously is synthetic grass. NewGrass® for example, has fibers that are broadloom-tufted from high-quality polyethylene, a component not considered an allergen.

Play areas covered by sand and wood chips, they can attract cats, which consider these coverings to be one big litter box.


NewGrass Continues to Meet Challenge of Lack of Outdoor Activity among Kids

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

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, Co-Founder 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 recommendations by Healthy Childcare.org in addressing the health, nutrition, physical activity, and safety aspects of children.
“Today’s children are four times less active in their day-to-day lives than their grandparents were,” according to the America Academy of Pediatrics. “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. NewGrass® is hypo-allergenic, doesn’t stain clothes and prevents dirt and mud from being tracked inside.


Five Reasons to Think About Where the Kids Will Play Come Fall and Winter

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Summer may have just begun. But in addition to vacations and sunburn, it brings five good reminders about why you should consider replacing your turf lawn or gravel or dirt play area with natural-feeling, low-maintenance artificial grass like NewGrass®:

  1. You’re already tired of the hassles — and costs — that go along with watering and maintaining your turf lawn.
  2. Worse, you’re already sad over seeing your natural sod grass wither under the rules of local water restrictions.
  3. Your gravel or dirt play areas have turned to messy mud lots during the spring rains (and they’ll be hard as rock come winter)
  4. Your children have suffered injuries on those same play areas — or on the lawn.
  5. The grass that’s great for romping on is making everyone’s allergies go off the charts.

1. The hassles and costs of watering and maintaining your lawn. WaterSense, an EPA partnership program, estimates that nationwide, irrigating home landscapes accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day. In some regions, like California and the Southwest, as much as 60 percent of home’s water bill goes to keeping lawns and gardens green.
The Earth Institute at Columbia University reports that for lawns in the United States, we use 580 million gallons of gasoline for lawnmowers and spend:

  • $25 billion for the lawn care industry
  • $5.25 million on fossil fuel-derived fertilizers
  • $700 million on 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides

2. Droughts and the expansion of water restrictions. NewGrass® applauds and supports water conservation nationwide. Water is, after all, among our most important natural resources — and the one for which we haven’t found a man-made or natural option. In response to ongoing draught conditions and calls for water conservation, local water districts, regional government authorities, and states from coast to coast have implemented drastic residential watering restrictions.

According to the Association of California Water Agencies, 59 agencies and cities — including Los Angeles — have enacted mandatory restrictions or declared Stage 1, 2, 3 or 5 water alerts. Several dozen other cities have suggested voluntary restrictions. Several of the largest cities in Texas have ordered mandatory water restrictions.

3. The mess of gravel and dirt play areas in rainy or snowy weather. A study published by JAMA Pediatrics 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. And that’s in good weather!

“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,” says company president Gregory Goehner. “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 tested 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.

4. Injuries on turf grass and gravel play areas. More than 500,000 children a year are injured on playground equipment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Three-fourths of playground injuries are attributed to falls, so choosing an appropriate surface is the most important playground decision that school officials will make.

Obviously, the same is true when considering a surface for a play area at home. In fact, about one-fourth of all serious playground injuries occur in the backyard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children aren’t the only victims of injuries related to turf grass and play areas. The Earth Institute says 60,000 to 70,000 severe accidents result from lawnmowers every year.

5. Allergies and other ailments spawned by sod grass. Itchy eyes and nose, nasal discharge, blocked nasal passages, sinus headache, sneezing, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of allergies caused by dust, mold, pollen, grass and trees.
Allergies have no cure. Prevention is the only course of action – trying to eliminate or minimize a child’s exposure to allergens. Another option obviously is synthetic grass. NewGrass® for example, has fibers that are broadloom-tufted from high-quality polyethylene, a component not considered an allergen.

Play areas covered by sand and wood chips, they can attract cats, which consider these coverings to be one big litter box.


Artificial Grass Ensures Kids Get Exercise — Even in Winter

Friday, December 6th, 2013

The numbers are staggering, if not downright depressing: 17 percent of America’s children are obese (Centers for Disease Control); nearly 1 in 3 are at least overweight if not obese (American Heart Association); today’s children are four times less active than their grandparents were (American Academy of Pediatrics), and childhood obesity has become the top health concern among U.S. parents (AHA).

The lack of activity and exercise is “troubling and calls for some parental intervention,” the AAP says.

Dr. Michael Omidi, co-founder of The Children’s Obesity Fund, has been even more emphatic: “It is becoming increasingly obvious that the lack of physical exercise in children is the main culprit in the startling rise of childhood obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and all other types of preventable medical conditions.”

The CDC says the lack of safe, appealing places for kids to play is a big problem nationwide. The challenge is made worse in the winter months when much of the country suffers rain, snow, sleet and cold temperatures.

One response by communities, cities and schools alike has been to install synthetic grass like NewGrass® to help children be active year-round, regardless of the weather. A play area covered with NewGrass® is usable even after a snowfall, because it’s installed in a way that lets water simply drain through.

Sand and wood chips as play area groundcover may create cushioned surfaces. But in they’re unusable after a snowfall or heavy rain. Turf grass meanwhile dies in the winter, leaving play areas hard at best, and muddy or frozen at worst.

“We’ve seen parks and playgrounds that have NewGrass® installed provide safe and accessible surfaces for kids to play on day after day, all year round,” 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. “We are proud to play at least a small part in increasing the level of physical activity among our youth.”


NewGrass Meets Challenge of Lack of Outdoor Activity among Kids

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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.


NewGrass and Play Sets: As Natural As Peanut Butter & Jelly

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Sometimes things just naturally fit together: peanut butter and jelly, soup and sandwich, NewGrass and backyard play sets. Just ask Paul Parker, who is equally comfortable in the worlds of synthetic lawn and children’s play sets.

Paul is a partner in Artificial Grass San Diego and San Diego Backyard Adventures. The first is among the newest authorized distributors of NewGrass, the artificial grass solution when being water-wise and eco-friendly are as important as having more green lawn to enjoy year-round. The second company is the San Diego area’s most recognized and respected provider of the highest quality wooden outdoor play equipment.

NewGrass has built an outstanding reputation for providing the perfect environment for play areas at schools and day care centers, and Backyard Adventures has personalized, experienced service to help any family choose the right play set, fort or swing,” Parker said. “Putting the two together just makes sense – a customer can have their home play area redesigned and recreated literally from the ground up.”

But even considered separately, it’s clear that NewGrass is superior to traditional natural products, including grass, sand and wood chips, for ground cover under and around play areas, Parker said.

“NewGrass is an eco-friendly, natural-looking and incredibly safe alternative to any other kind of surface under our play sets,” Parker 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 and routinely need to be replenished. 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 need fertilizers, pesticides, watering and maintenance. NewGrass is hypo-allergenic, doesn’t stain clothes and prevents dirt and mud from being tracked inside.


NewGrass Gives Kids Safe, Clean Outdoor Play Areas

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

When it comes to considering the perfect ground covering for your children’s play set, NewGrass® artificial grass is the optimal choice. These synthetic lawns are lead-safe, hypo-allergenic, don’t stain clothes, prevent dirt and mud from being tracked inside, and eliminate the kind of injuries that a fall on gravel, sand or dirt can cause.

Day care centers, elementary schools and outdoor play equipment companies agree, and for all of the same reasons.

In fact, NewGrass® is the waterless grass of choice of Backyard Adventures of San Diego and Phoenix, arguably the nation’s premier outdoor play equipment company, with showrooms in Phoenix, Ariz., and in San Diego and San Marcos, Calif.

“NewGrass® is an eco-friendly, natural-looking and incredibly safe alternative to any other kind of surface under our play sets,” said Paul Parker, president of Backyard Adventures, at his flagship showroom in San Diego.

“We’re also very big on the fact that NewGrass® is lead-safe, and provides really great performance and safety under our play sets,” Parker added.

As a ground cover for play areas, NewGrass® is superior to traditional natural products, including grass, sand and wood chips, Parker said.

Turf grass and its weeds can aggravate allergies, plus they need fertilizers, pesticides, watering and maintenance.

Sand and wood chips create cushioned surfaces, but both are messy, scatter easily and routinely need to be replenished. Perhaps least appealing of all, sand and wood chips can attract cats, who consider these coverings to be one big litter box.


For Some Children with Special Needs, NewGrass Offers a Safe Alternative for Play Areas

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz.NewGrass™ has made a world of difference at a school for youngsters with special needs, and hefty donations of materials and labor made it all possible.

“Not only has it helped the children, it’s given us a whole new teaching area – outdoors on a nice lawn,” said Patty McCartney, director of Play ABA/Chrysalis Academy, in Tempe, Ariz. “The kids and teachers just love it. We’ve been doing a lot of the group activities outside. It’s opened up a new space for us. It’s given us an outdoor learning space.”

The bulk of the cost of the NewGrass™ installation was donated through the efforts of a school parent who is the operations director for a NewGrass™ distributor, STC (Synthetic Turf Company) of Scottsdale.

Play ABA/Chrysalis enrolls children in kindergarten through fourth grade who have social, language and behavioral deficits. These can include autism and other conditions that create problems related to tactile stimulation and reactions to certain environmental surroundings.

Playgrounds composed of dirt or lose ground coverings, such as bark or rocks, can pose considerable problems for these children. McCartney said many of her students would continually put the playground material in their mouths. Children with autism and other conditions are prone to do that even though they are at an age when other children have learned not to.

Natural turf grasses pose another problem as well. Many special needs children suffer more than normal from allergies. Play ABA/Chrysalis suffered from both challenges. They couldn’t grow grass because of the hot climate, poor drainage and tough soil. And the little grass they could maintain caused allergic reactions.
The school’s new artificial lawn has solved those problems and provided the unexpected benefit of adding an outdoor teaching are as well, said McCartney said.
Chris Harlien, operations director for STC (Synthetic Turf Company) of Scottsdale, was responsible for arranging the work to do the actual installation and the materials for the base and in-fill to landscape 1,450-square-foot play area at the 24-student academy.

Harlien’s daughter, Presley, is autistic and began attending Play ABA/Chrysalis this fall. When Harlien first visited the school, the surface of its play area was a combination of the dismal remains of traditional sod grass that had failed to thrive, a ground covering of bark chips, and even the deposits of an earlier attempt to apply a cover of rock and chipped rubber.

Harlien said the school approached him about the feasibility of synthetic lawn, when they learned he sold it for a living. The school knew a synthetic lawn would be a major improvement, but it didn’t have the money to buy one, McCartney said.
Harlien arranged for three of STC’s vendors to provide the backing and infill material for the installation. Harlien and a couple of friends installed the yard. The school paid for the cost of the NewGrass™.

The bottom line: Play ABA/Chrysalis got a $9,700 synthetic grass play area for $3,000.

Rockmart Landscaping Materials, in Chandler, donated nine tons of aggregate stone for the base material, said Tracy Stafford, assistant to the vice president of Rockmart.

For the installation’s infill, CRM of America donated 2,000 pounds of rubber crumbs and Atko Building Materials donated 4,000 pounds of sand.

“We’re thrilled with the result,” McCartney said. “The surface is ideal. If we move into a bigger space, we would definitely install this from the beginning.”


NewGrass Schoolyard Shows Benefits Inside and Outside the School’s Walls

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Elementary school principal Laurie Ocampo loved the sweeping green expanse of NewGrass™ that was installed at her school this summer, replacing the schoolyard’s 11,000 square feet of former dirt and sparse, constantly dying grass.

But Ocampo knew the true test for the synthetic grass schoolyard at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Casa Grande, Ariz., would be how it held up to the school’s 340 students when they returned from summer break.

“It’s great,” Ocampo said recently. “It looks so nice. It seems to be holding up well, and the kids seem to really like it.”

The 11,000-square-foot NewGrass™ installation is also helping keep the school’s hallways and classrooms clean, she said.

“Before, we always had dust and dirt coming in, just because the schoolyard was so bare,” she said.

Worse, because the terrain has high and low elevations, the kids ended up tracking mud into the school whenever it rained or if the yard was still wet after the school had watered the bare patches of natural turf that it had tried to maintain before NewGrass™.

“That’s just not a problem now,” Ocampo said. “We like it a lot.”


Reading, Writing and Schoolyard Injuries

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Artificial grass school yardMore than 500,000 children a year are injured on playground equipment, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

About 150,000 of these injuries are considered serious, with an average of 15 children dying each year in playground accidents.

Three-fourths of playground injuries are attributed to falls, so choosing an appropriate surface is the most important playground decision that school officials will make. Obviously, the same is true when considering a surface for a play area at home. In fact, about one-fourth of all serious playground injuries occur in the backyard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Children typically fall off of monkey bars, swings, climbers and slides. Surprisingly, children are more likely to be seriously injured on playground equipment than they are in bicycle or car accidents.

The Consumer Federation of America, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., wants more stringent federal standards for playgrounds that include requiring up to a foot of sand, wood chips or other cushioning material under all playground equipment.

Synthetic lawns generally have a backing of rubber or a similar material. NewGrass™, a leading artificial grass, has a primary backing layer of urethane and a secondary backing of polypropylene.

Combined with their durability and being “live” all year long, artificial grasses are becoming popular alternatives for many schoolyards. This is especially true where natural grass simply can’t grow in playground areas or has been worn down to the dirt through repeated use. NewGrass™, a top-quality synthetic grass, is installed with a layer of fine sand within and under the blades. This has the practical effect of keeping the blades lifted and looking fresh. On a play area or schoolyard, it has the added advantage of providing another level of cushioning.

Another playground culprit is the dust and dirt that a typical schoolyard can create, especially if its natural grass has been worn down. Ironically, a schoolyard with natural turf can also spawn allergens.

Itchy eyes and nose, nasal discharge, blocked nasal passages, sinus headache, sneezing, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath are all symptoms of allergies caused by dust, mold, pollen, grass and trees.

Allergies have no cure. Prevention is the only course of action – trying to eliminate or minimize a child’s exposure to allergens. Another option obviously is synthetic grass. NewGrass™, for example, has fibers that are broadloom-tufted from high-quality polyethylene or a combination of polyethylene and nylon. Neither component is considered an allergen. In addition, NewGrass™ is there for the kids to play on year-round.

The Dobson Academy, in Chandler, Ariz. , chose NewGrass™ for several of its common and recreation areas for all of these reasons, officials said. They felt that the synthetic grass option was simply more practical, particularly in the dry desert climate and topography that was very unfriendly to natural grass.

The Arizona State University Children’s Campus Center, in Tempe, had NewGrass™ installed for similar reasons: the safety and health of the children they care for every day.


© NewGrass, Inc. All Rights Reserved