Splash Pad Safety and Hydroplaning

Every now and again, we get a call about a splash pad that seems unusually slippery. Sometimes the customer has already installed Life Floor, sometimes they're still considering it, but in either case, it's typical for the problem to have nothing to do with the surface. Instead, kids are slipping on the splash pad because they're hydroplaning. 

Hydroplaning occurs on splash pads when there is simply too much water accumulating on the surface of the splash pad. When this happens, children (and adults) are no longer running on the ground, they're running on water. And just as a puddle can cause a car to hydroplane, this water can get between your feet and the ground and send you flying. 

Often, the spray features are being operated with water pressure in excess of the manufacturer's recommended volume. If you think your guests are hydroplaning for this reason, consider contacting your spray feature manufacturer to insure that you're operating your pad correctly.  

Other reasons include improper sloping, which can cause low spots to form on the splash pad and create permanent puddles. On the more mundane end, sometimes water accumulates because of clogged drains. In this case, simply removing the drain cover and cleaning out debris may be an adequate fix.

We see a lot of splash pads with a lot of different surfaces. While safety surfaces, including Life Floor, can significantly increase the traction of a splash pad, the feet of the adults and children must actually make contact with the splash pad surface for it to be effective. 

A certain amount of hydroplaning will always occur on splash pads--that's one of the many reasons Life Floor is designed to cushion falls. That being said, too much hydroplaning is dangerous and, we believe, totally avoidable. Simply put, the more standing water on a splash pad, the more hydroplaning, the more slip-and-falls. So turn the faucet down a bit- your water bill, and your butt, will thank you.