I am going to build or install an A-frame swing/play set for my kids. I've read rubber mulch can be a potential carcinogen.

I want to:

  1. find a safe ground cover for under and around the swing set
  2. learn how deep the ground cover should be to help break falls

1 Answer 1


Think of the highest point at which your child would let go or jump from then figure the padding needed. 6" should be acceptable and the rubber is used and will have some carcinogens organic materials will decompose and rot. I'd go with rubber but that's just me.

  • 2
    Pea gravel works well. I built my daughters play house 35 years ago and put in 8" of pea gravel. Every now and then I need to rake the gravel back under the swings but it has lasted and gone through several grand children and all there friends with no broken bones from bailing out and flipping over (mostly the son and his friends did the crazy stuff). I should mention the swing set is using the play house as 1 side and an A frame on the other. The height was 7.5'.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 4, 2017 at 20:04
  • I was going to say 6"-12" but a foot seemed a little much. Pea gravel is surprisingly gentle for stone so I would agree with Ed that it's an excellent choice for material.
    – Derek
    Aug 4, 2017 at 20:32

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