ForeverLawn's Playground Grass Ultra, with XStatic anti-static technology, is a new synthetic turf that reduces static build-up on the playground surface, which can be a serious problem for those who rely on electronic devices such as cochlear implants.
While static build-up on the playground is nothing more than a nuisance to some, the fact that any child might be affected more seriously led ForeverLawn to research ways to eliminate this problem.
"When we heard that kids with hearing aids were having to remove their devices to avoid damage from static on the playground, we felt that it was up to us to research the problem and find a solution that would allow these children to both hear and play at the same time," said Brian Karmie, ForeverLawn vice president.
Cochlear implants are electronic devices that consist of an external transmitter located behind the ear and a receiver surgically placed under the skin. Static build-up can cause a shock that can zap the external transmitter and damage the device.
This problem has led some parents of hearing-impaired children to make a difficult choice — prevent their children from playing on the playground, or remove the external transmitter and allow their children to play without being able to hear.
Prior to the development of XStatic, artificial grass playgrounds that were generating static could be treated in one of two ways: A topical spray could be used on the surface, or large amounts of sand could be poured into the grass.
Both options add cost to playground development and offer different levels of success.
The spray may take weeks of application to reach the desired effect, may not reduce it as much as needed, and will wear off over time. XStatic antistatic technology is engineered into the grass itself, will not wear off over time or use, and is effective immediately upon installation of the turf.
The first playground featuring XStatic was unveiled in Largo, Fla., on May 10.
Largo Central Park features 22,000 square feet of Playground Grass Ultra, and according to Largo Parks and Recreation Director Greg Brown, there has not been evidence of static build-up on the grass in spite of efforts to generate it.
"We are thrilled with the new playground, and are so happy with the Playground Grass. It's just so much better than the rubber mulch we had here before. Parents will actually picnic right on the Playground Grass Ultra. The grass looks so nice and the consistency in the surface gives us peace of mind that it will continue to maintain its safety rating day in and day out," Brown said. "And static is not a problem with this grass."
The word about XStatic has already spread to neighboring St. Petersburg, Fla., which will be testing the new turf in a designated area in the coming weeks. The city had experienced a problem with static build-up on the artificial grass surface at one of their parks in 2009 that attracted some media attention, which was eventually solved by pouring four tons of sand over the grass.
For more information about Playground Grass Ultra with XStatic antistatic technology, contact ForeverLawn at 866-992-7876 or visit playgroundgrass.com .