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Playground Collaborative Program

Presented During National Playground Safety Week






Among the materials presented to the schools was the Slyde the playground hound poster. The poster tells the children:

Don’t play on playground with lose clothing and drawstrings. “Tuck it in, or take it off.”< /br> Always play on a playground with a soft surface.< /br> Don’t wear a bike helmet when playing on playground equipment.< /br> Tell a grownup if you see broken equipment or missing parts.< /br>


An historic partnership between the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), a playground equipment manufacturer (BCI Burke), two safety surfacing manufacturers (Sof’Fall Inc. and Play Matta) and child-oriented media, (the Weekly Reader), has produced the Play Smart, Play Safe program.

The Play Smart, Play Safe curriculum, distributed to classrooms across the country, reportedly reached over 45,000 teachers and over 750,000 kindergarten children and their families during National Playground Safety Week, April 25-29.

Cheryl Kaczmarek, director of marketing for BCI Burke asserted that such a comprehensive safety program taught in schools to so many children at one time was a first for the playground industry.






The safety kit includes a video presentation on safe playgrounds from the National Program for Playground Safety and a safety manual for playground supervisors.


The Play Smart, Play Safe program teaches playground safety with the help of its mascot, Slyde the Playground Hound (www.playgroundhound.com). Slyde is the star of the entertaining and informative activities guide and brightly-colored classroom poster that promotes “cool and careful ways” to have safe fun on the playground.

“Slyde presents a message of safe play that is entertaining and fun. Children listen to Slyde and identify with him,” says Curtis Stoddard, creator of Slyde the Playground Hound and a child safety advocate. “Slyde” made a guest appearance at the 84th annual National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) conference in Baltimore, Maryland April 15-18.

The Play Smart, Play Safe program stresses that children, parents, teachers and playground supervisors all have a role and responsibility to be aware of potential playground safety hazards. Injuries incurred by improper use of playground equipment or playing on unsafe equipment generally are minor, but fractures are fairly common. Critical accidents can also occur.






The Play Smart, Play Safe program stresses that children, parents, teachers and playground supervisors all have a role in playground safety. “Slyde statistics” report 541,792 playground injuries in 2000, including 163,847 fractures and 85,598 strains and sprains. The oft quoted figure from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is that more than 200,000 children are injured seriously enough each year on playgrounds to require emergency room attention.


“Slyde statistics” report that there were 541,792 playground injuries in 2000, including 163,847 fractures and 85,598 strains and sprains, with an associated cost of $11,071,598,064

The figure quoted by the National Program for Playground Safety, derived from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is that more than 200,000 children are injured seriously enough each year on playgrounds to require emergency room attention.

“Our goal is to reduce the number and severity of injuries to our children,” says Dr. Susan Hudson, director of education for the NPPS which also originated the concept of National Playground Safety Week. “We are excited to be a part of this noteworthy program to make kids, parents and teachers more aware of safe play at school, in their local parks and even at home.”

Awards

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) presented its fourth “Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year” award to Darlene O'Keefe from Buffalo, New York. Ms. O’Keefe spearheaded a committee to create safe playgrounds for over 10,000 children in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District, one of the largest in western New York, ranking among the most progressive school districts in the nation.

The NPPS has established the “John Preston Safe Playground” award to be given annually to an organization or agency that exemplifies the care and concern for children by creating safe play environments. Mr. Preston was an engineer for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, responsible for compiling the CPSC Handbook for over 20 years, contributed to all of the ASTM Playground Standards, and serving on the NPPS board for nine years.

The first annual John Preston Playground Safety award was given to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration for conducting playground safety workshops for child care directors and helping obtain over $900,000 from the Federal Child Care Development Fund to assist over 200 child-care centers over the past four years to become compliant with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. The agency is also assuring that all of the state’s child care consultants and managers get certified this summer in playground safety.

About the Play Smart, Play Safe Program Collaborators

BCI Burke (www.bciburke.com) of Fond du Lac, Wis., says it is the oldest playground company in the United States. BCI Burke designs, engineers and builds playground, park and recreation equipment. BCI Burke provides a free NPPS Playground Supervision Safety Kit with every modular play structure.

Sof’Fall Inc. (www.sof-fall.com) of Draper, Utah manufactures engineered wood fiber for play surfacing from the “highest quality virgin wood.”

Play Matta (Play Matta Products Limited--www.matta.co.nz) of Otaki, New Zealand manufactures modular safety surfacing matt systems using “predominately recycled plastics and rubber for use in playground, sport and recreation and industrial environs.”

Play Mattas are designed to be installed on existing hard surfaces.

Lifetime Learning Systems, Inc., a division of the Weekly Reader (www.weeklyreader.com), a newspaper for children in the elementary grades published by the Weekly Reader Corp. (WRC Media, Inc.). The publication has addressed bicycle safety, but this is the first time it has focused on playground safety.



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December 8, 2019, 8:49 am PDT

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