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Play Sand and is it Safe for my Kids?

posted by Sakrete Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM


Sakrete often gets asked the question "is Play Sand safe for my kid(s)?" The answer is, if you are ok taking your kids to the beach, absolutely! Now if you wouldn’t take your kids to the beach you probably shouldn’t use Play Sand either. A bigger question might be, “how much play sand can be removed by one child’s bathing suit or clothes during one visit to the sandbox or beach.”

Getting serious, let’s talk about how Sakrete Natural Play Sand is made . Sakrete Natural Play Sand's mineral make up is silica, which is the same as any beach sand. It seems that recently sand has gotten a bad name due to the industrial applications it is used in. When using sand in industrial settings, such as for sand blasting sand these can be broken up into very fine particles that if one is exposed to and inhaled for a period of time may cause health problems.

This isn’t the case with Sakrete Natural Play Sand since most kids (hopefully) won’t be doing any sandblasting.

For those still a little concerned, you can always keep the sand slightly moist which will prevent dry sand from flying up into children’s faces. This still doesn’t stop my neighbor’s kids from eating it, but that’s whole different story.

As an additional tip: when you put the sand into your kid‘s sand box it’s also a good idea to keep it covered to keep out leaves and dirt, plus it also has the added benefit of keeping out the neighbor’s cat from doing the unmentionable.

Other Sakrete Play Sand Uses:
1. Ballast – Help weight down things from signs, fences, basketball poles, truck beds, etc.
2. Landscaping – Drainage, dry up wet areas
3. Traction – For icy steps and walks, which is much better for the concrete and the environment
4. Pavers - Can be used to fill the joints between pavers when the joints are at least 1/8” in width.

Applications Sakrete Play Sand Should Not Be Used:
1. Aquariums - A commonly asked question is whether Sakrete Natural Play Sand can be used for fish aquariums. For that application, a special manufactured sand is needed which won’t affect the pH level of the water.
2. Pool Filters - Typically pool filters require a certain size sand that is used and unfortunately Sakrete Natural Play Sand doesn’t meet those coarse sand size requirements.

The Sakrete Team

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15 USER COMMENTS

can play sand be used for paver joint fill?
- henry
Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 8:18 AM

If your worried about the fine dust you can rinse it. Its easy to do. You can look it up on youtube
- mike
Friday, October 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Chris, NO the Play Sand does not contain asbestos
- Chris Technical Services
Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Thanks for all the info. Does your Play Sand contain any form of asbestos?
- Chris
Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 12:12 AM

Joy, Our Natural Play Sand has silica, crystalline, and quartz in it. It is the same kind of sand you find at the beach or anywhere else. Silica is a hard, unreactive, colorless compound that occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks. (Google) Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. (OSHA Fact Sheet)
- Chris Technical Services
Monday, May 12, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Whats the difference between silica and crystalline silica? Seems like there is possible cause for concern with the crystalline silica, but not silica? Does your natural play sand contain both?
- Joy
Friday, May 9, 2014 at 5:35 PM

Dina, The Play Sand is a fine sand. It does not have gravel in it.
- RLC - Tech Service Team
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Hello, I have a question about the play sand. Is this the soft, yellow sand you would find at the beach or is it like the gravel type of sand? Last year I purchased play sand from Fred Meyer and it was gravel. Thank you, Dina Roth
- Dina
Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Joe, Our sands are typically a regionally quarried and sieved material. They are natural sands much like the sand you would find on the beach. We are being overly cautious with our sand applications because there are sands that are designed to be used in pools and in aquariums. Could our sand affect the Ph levels? They may or they may not. We do not test them for that application since that is not the recommended use. Would our sand kill fish or other aquarium animals? We do not know. But we would not recommend using them in a fish tank or with any other pets because they are not tested for those applications. Pool and Aquarium sands do cost more because they are specifically designed for these applications. Pools require a specific gradation to work properly. We do not have a specified gradation of sand so we cannot recommend using them with a pool. The manufacturers of Pool sands do check for gradation and anything that may affect the Ph levels. Again it is better to be cautious when recommending products for certain applications especially if they have not been tested for use in those applications. Sakrete Natural Play Sand is designed for use in playgrounds, gardens and landscaping applications only.
- RLC - Tech Service Team
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

harvested from where? and what kind of pH changes occur if used in an aquarium? and why does the sandbox sand affect pH? silica should be inert; what else is in there that changes pH?
- joe
Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM

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