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Sensory Crash Pad Options for Use with Special Needs Kids

By Kyle Schurman Created: May, 2024 - Modified: May, 2024

When trying to help kids with special needs and sensory processing issues, you want completely safe equipment in a sensory room to avoid potential injuries. Don’t focus so much on the equipment that you forget about the importance of the flooring, though. One of the best types of flooring for sensory rooms is a sensory crash pad.

When kids have sensory processing disorders, like autism, they can struggle with staying safe during an episode. Using a crash pad in sensory rooms can deliver the required level of cushioning in case of a fall. At Greatmats, we offer several products that deliver sensory crash pad benefits.

How Safety Floor Products Help With Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is not an official term for psychiatric disorders for children. However, many people use the term SPD to describe some similar behaviors that could lead to self-harm. Some of these behaviors can include:

  • Tantrums and throwing themselves to the ground
  • Screaming and pulling away when touched
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Wild physical reactions to noise or light
  • Bumping into walls or people
  • Biting objects they put into their mouths
  • Reacting to minor stimulations as if they’re causing significant pain
  • Sudden stumbling and falls
  • A desire to spin wildly
  • General overstimulation

Although many people associate SPD with autism, not everyone who has autism experiences these types of behaviors. Additionally, not everyone who experiences these types of sensory issues is on the autism spectrum.

Regardless, our sensory crash pad products can help protect any children or others who are suffering from SPD issues.

Creating Padding in a Sensory Room

To help people who are exhibiting these behaviors, schools, medical facilities, and homeowners may create sensory rooms with thick padding for protection.

kids therapy and sensory room
A sensory room also has physical, visual, and aural stimuli to help someone with sensory therapy. Through the stimuli and activities, the hope is that children experiencing SPD can learn to take steps to calm and focus themselves. Some items may allow for climbing or other physical activity, which necessitates the need for padded sensory room flooring and, sometimes, sensory room wall padding.

One of our Greatmats’ customers used our sensory crash pad products to help with providing sensory integration, emotional regulation, and help with the development of fine and gross motor skills in a sensory room.

Best Sensory Crash Pad - 12-Inch Fluffy Denim Gymnastic Mat

sensory crash pad
Our most popular and durable children’s crash pad is the 12-inch Fluffy Denim Gymnastic Mat. It has dimensions of 60 by 80 inches, giving it a significant coverage area for use under fun climbing equipment that helps with the development of motor skills.

The pad includes 12 inches of pillow-soft foam, which is ideal for protecting against falls. The foam compresses quickly under the weight of someone falling on it before rebounding immediately to its original shape. It absorbs the energy of the fall to protect the child.

This type of foam is especially useful in situations for kids where they may land on their backs or stomachs rather than on their feet, such as frequently with toddlers.

It has a soft denim cover that zips into place. You can remove the cover for cleaning whenever needed and put it back over the padding when you’re ready to use it again.

Thickness: 12 inches
Size: 5x6.67 feet
Zipper Covered: Yes
Price: $$$$

Other Heavy Duty Crash Mat Sensory Padding Options

At Greatmats, we also offer thinner mats that still give kids protection against falls in a sensory room.

8-Inch Safety Crash Mat

crash pad sensory for kids
The 8-Inch Safety Crash Mat has a vinyl-coated polyester cover that protects the 8-inch thick foam during repeated uses. It includes a high-quality zipper, so you can remove the cover whenever needed. We offer this mat in non-fold and foldable designs in sizes between 4x6 feet and 6x12 feet.

Thickness: 8 inches
Size: 4x6 feet to 6x12 feet
Zipper Covered: Yes
Price: $$$

4-Inch Safety Landing Mat

sensory room crash mat
With dimensions ranging from 4 by 6 feet to 5 by 10 feet, the 4-Inch Safety Landing Mat offers variable coverage area options. Its 4-inch thick foam provides plenty of cushioning for falls. Use the high-quality zipper to remove the vinyl cover for cleaning, if desired.

Thickness: 4 inches
Size: 4x6 feet to 5x10 feet
Zipper Covered: Yes
Price: $$

2-Inch Safety Gym Mats

crash pad autism
The 2-Inch Safety Gym Mat is a commercial-grade quality sensory crash mat, originally designed for use in a gymnastics studio. It can withstand repeated use. It only has 2 inches of thick foam, but it’s a foldable mat, so you can fold and stack the panels on top of each other to gain additional thickness. The 4x8 foot mat has four foldable panels (all connected by a vinyl cover), while the 4x10 and 5x10 foot mats have five panels.

Thickness: 2 inches
Size: 4x8 feet to 5x10 feet
Zipper Covered: No
Price: $

Other Foam Floors for Sensory Room Usage

Sometimes, an autism crash pad product may work best directly underneath a climbing obstacle or in a sensory room where falls are most likely to happen. You then can use EVA foam flooring for comfort and to guard against unlikely falls elsewhere in the room.

The best sensory room floor mats that we recommend consist of puzzle-style EVA foam tiles that pop together like a jigsaw puzzle. They’re easy to install and easy to clean. You can order them in bright colors, although we also offer gray and black.

Find the Help You Need

For help finding the right flooring and padding for a great sensory room experience, reach out to the sensory room experts on the Greatmats customer service team!