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The Parental Playground Mantra: ''Never Out of Sight!''




You may have read about the little missing girl in Georgia and thought, as we did, the outcome would be horribly predictable. It was. Seven-year-old Jorelys Rivera was kidnapped from this small, fence-enclosed apartment complex playground in Canton, Ga. The authorities report she was taken to a nearby vacant apartment, sexually assaulted, stabbed and beaten to death, all with a few hours of the capture. Her body was found in a trash bin three days after she went missing. A suspect has been arrested.

The LASN Playground column has addressed just about every safety aspect possible, from proper safety surfacing to equipment meeting ASTM or CPSC standards, from designing with open sight lines in mind www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/14299, to the importance of playground supervision www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/7522.

We know that no matter how ''safe'' we design playground kids occasionally will break an arm or, worse, suffer some brain trauma from a fall on the playground. And on rare occasions, a child will die from a playground injury www.landscapeonline.com/research/article/13861.

It's sad and terrifying to realize a child cannot be out of sight of a parent, guardian or supervising attendant on the playground, even for a moment. The pain and distress of Jorelys' parents and of the teenage babysitter are unimaginable and utterly heartbreaking. They will never get over it. We can only hope that parents everywhere will remember Jorelys Rivera and always be there with their kids on the playground.


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November 20, 2019, 1:57 pm PDT

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