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Fire, Strangulation, Cars and other Perils on the Playground

Fire and grafifiti is all too common on the playground.

The Kalakupua Playground at 4th Marine Division Park in Haiku, Maui has been shut down indefinitely ... due to rotting wood.

No sooner had county prisoners scrubbed graffiti off the Nickerson Playground skatepark in Attleboro, Mass., than vandals resprayed their gang "tags" on the skatepark. Perhaps some of the taggers will soon be joining the cleanup crew.

Fire destroyed a Baltimore playground that thousands of volunteers built three years ago at the site of old Memorial Stadium. Arson is suspected. Community leaders vow to rebuild.

One week into the school year and hundreds of elementary children in Fridley, Minn. won't be playing on the school playground. Two 13-year-olds set fire to it, leaving it a charred and melted (one reason for PVC-free playgrounds). This is the second time in just two months a fire was started on the playground. The juvenile arsonists probably used lighter fluid or gasoline. Damages are estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

It's not all bleak...Ali’s Boundless Playground in Sertoma Park, Bismarck, N.D. is being built...they need volunteers!

St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk, Va. just opened its new playground. The playground was initiated by a mother who saw the old playground was unusable for the disabled (LASN features two such hospital playgrounds in this issue).

Huntsville, Ala. launched a fundraising drive for a $500,000 disabled playground. The city has made major playground makeovers in eight city parks with two more on the way.

A woman, with her child, was arrested for driving her car onto the Marco Forster Middle School playground in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., at a “moderately high speed.” Her young child was in the car. No one was injured.

Safe Kids USA says that about 15 children per year die from playground-related injuries in the U.S. Strangulation is the number one cause. The organization also reports 75 percent of playground accidents occur on public playgrounds.

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December 10, 2019, 6:58 pm PDT

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