Iowa parents are being urged to look over their kids’ playgrounds. Is the equipment freshly-painted and modern or does it look broken-down and rusty, resembling something the parents played on themselves years ago? This is National Playground Safety Week and the National Program for Playground Safety is headquartered at the University of Northern Iowa.
Susan Hudson, the program’s education director, says they’re trying to get a simple message out. Hudson says: "Pay attention to the play environment and make sure there’s good adult supervision, that they’re playing on equipment that’s age-appropriate for them, that the surfacing is thick enough to cushion any falls that they might have and that the equipment and surfacing is kept in tip-top condition."
The staff at UNI is releasing a book this week for anyone who’s involved with playgrounds. Hudson says "S.A.F.E. Play Areas: Creation, Maintenance and Renovation" zeros in on S-A-F-E, for supervision, age-appropriate design, fall surfacing and equipment. Hudson says, "It contains research that’s been conducted during the last 12 years of our program’s existence but it also contains very practical tips and information on how to keep kids safe while they’re outside doing what kids do best, and that’s play."
She says two comprehensive national studies have been done through UNI in the past decade or so focusing on playground safety. The last study was done in 2004 and Hudson says it shows their messages are being heard.
Hudson says, "We did see some significant improvements in the fact that the equipment and areas are getting safer and people seem to be getting the message that we need to plan our playgrounds as well as we plan our public golf courses and other areas adults play in."
For more information on playround safety check out the website : " playgroundsafety.org " or call 1-800-554-PLAY.