National Playground Safety Week is wrapping up with experts asking you to take a good look at the places where your kids play. Donna Thompson is the director of the National Program for Playground Safety at the University of Northern Iowa. She says the last assessment showed Iowa’s playgrounds about the same, while nationwide, playground safety went from a “C” to a “C-plus.” Thompson says one of the biggest concerns is the landing area below play equipment. She says we need to be sure that the surfacing is in the right place, that it’s the right stuff and thick enough. She says there shouldn’t be any cement or grass or dirt, but instead, pea gravel, rubber chips, wood chips or rubber mats. Thompson says the playground equipment has gotten safer. She says she feels pleased about the manufacturers and the work they’ve done to make the playground equipment safer. Thompson says there’s one good key to knowing if your playground may be dangerous. She says if the equipment is older than 20 years, “I would seriously consider getting rid of it.” She says equipment that old would likely not meet the safety requirements. For more information on playground safety, surf to www.playgroundsafety.org.
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