Archive for playground safety

How To Be Active When The Air Hurts

New Year’s Resolution to be healthier? 
New running shoes?
Air polluted so badly that you end up coughing and feeling lousy all day? 

The winter air in many places is less than ideal due to an increase in pollutants from increased driving and heating of homes.

If you live in a place that has inversions, a condition where a dense layer of cold air is trapped beneath warm air like a lid, that air pollution can concentrate and make breathing difficult.  Those fine particles that make up the majority of air pollution can get past the usual defensive mechanisms in the body, irritating the full length of the respiratory tract. If you have breathing difficulties from conditions such as asthma or from smoking, you can really get hit hard.

Here are some things to make your exercise easier on your lungs during bad air days:

  • Be active when cars aren’t.
  • Avoid walking or running during rush hour times when pollution is highest.
  • You aren’t a car, so find a trail or other path in a park that is away from cars in order to lower your exposure.  Car exhaust is extremely irritating, stay away from places where it concentrates such as intersections.
  • If you can, be active indoors.
  • Check the air quality index each day and if it is a poor air day, stay inside.
  • However, indoor air can also be full of irritants as well, so avoid exercise after vacuuming or dusting to minimize impact.

Be active, be healthy,

Dr. Brett McIff, Physical Activity Coordinator at the Utah Department of Health


Dr. Brett McIff - LuckyDog RecreationDr. Brett McIff has worked in physical activity promotion for over 20 years in a variety of fields from personal training to policy development.  He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah in Exercise and Sports Science. He continued his graduate work with a Master of Science in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Public Health at Walden University.  Brett has served as President of the National Physical Activity Society and as President of the Utah Chapter of the Society of Public Health Educators and served on expert panels with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Academy of Science.  He works with committees at the national, state, and local levels to promote environments that encourage regular physical activity. He is currently the Physical Activity Coordinator at the Utah Department of Health.  


What is an inversion?

What causes poor air quality?

Exercise and air quality

Utah air pollution and public health

Introducing Playground Designer Rhetta McIff

Earlier this year we were fortunate to have Rhetta McIff join the LuckyDog team. Rhetta is our new Creative Playground Designer. Her years of experience working with local municipalities have already paid off. Her playground designs are spot on when it comes to innovation and fitting the wants and needs of the customer.

Before joining LuckyDog Rhetta worked for the Utah Department of Health collecting student injury data from all Utah School Districts to assist with safety and prevention practices. Most recently she worked at her local city office building strong community engagement through revitalization efforts including local parks and playgrounds.

Rhetta and her husband Brett are parents of two active and dynamic children who keep them laughing every day.

We are honored that Rhetta has joined the LuckyDog Team and know you will love working with her on your playground projects. As the Creative Play Designer for LuckyDog Recreation, she is unique in her approach to every playground design she creates.

In Pursuit of Play,

Nicole Stoddard

For National Playground Safety Week We Are Partnering Up

The Utah Department of Health and LuckyDog Recreation
support National Playground Safety Week

 Monday the Utah Health Department will be kicking off
National Playground Safety Week and you are invited.

The Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake County Health Department, and LuckyDog Recreation will conduct a playground inspection to highlight common safety hazards and effective ways to prevent injuries on playgrounds. The event will coincide with National Playground Safety Week, held April 24-28, 2017.

Each year, nearly 1,700 Utah elementary school-aged children are injured on school playgrounds. That’s enough children to fill 68 average Utah elementary school classrooms.

Speakers will include:

  • Zach Torres-George, environmental health scientist, Salt Lake County Health Department
  • Christine Christensen, principal, Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Hillary Campbell, student injury reporting technician, Utah Department of Health

Monday, April 24, 2017 9:15 a.m.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
2567 Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84115

NOTE: Parking available in the lot adjacent to the school

Playground Injuries Have Decreased

Busy Bee's Playground in Roy Utah - By PlayCraft Playgrounds and LuckyDog Recreation pre-school playground for Busy Bee's Playhouse in Roy, Utah

  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission playground injuries have significantly decreased year after year since 2001. This occurrence is due to increased awareness, higher safety standards and big changes in the playground industry such as:
  • Manufactures – Playground manufactures are building safer playgrounds by making sure all hardware is covered and platforms are protected with small gauged guardrails.
  • Playground Surfacing – Every year we see new and improved playground surfacing. When surfacing products are installed and maintained according to code they are more effective in preventing injuries.
  • CPSI – All public playgrounds are required to be inspected by Certified Playground Safety Inspectors who understand playground safety issues including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods.
  • Playground Designs – Today’s public playgrounds are built within safety zones and the play equipment is situated to prevent over crowding. For example, swing sets are placed away from other play equipment.

Too Many Utah Children Injured – Still More to Do

All though injuries are down, too many Utah children are still injured on playgrounds.

For 2008, the Department of Health reports:

  • 70% of student injuries occur on the playground or play-field.
  • Two-thirds (65.2%) of these injuries happen during recess.
  • The activities during which injuries occur the most are playing on bars (20.7%), running (18%), and walking (11%).
  • The most common injuries received are possible fracture/broken, cut/laceration, bump/bruise/contusion, sprain/strain/tear, and possible concussion.

Health Department Fact Sheet – PDF

Health Department Student Injuries – PDF

How To Improve Playground Safety

With manufacturers building safer playgrounds every year, what else can be done to prevent playground injuries?

Choose your playgrounds wisely.

  • Make sure your school has a well maintained playground with the proper safety surfacing. Be sure that the school has supervised play rules in place.
  • Choose parks and playgrounds that are appropriate to your child’s age, are well maintained and the safety surfacing is in good condition.
  • Check for hazards or broken equipment.
  • Continuously supervise your children while they are at play.

Teach our children playground safety – Parents and teachers alike can teach children to play safe.

  • Teach children to use playground and sports equipment properly. Check to see that sports equipment is age appropriate and fits properly.
  • Remind children to be aware and kind. Pushing and shoving can lead to injuries.

Slyde the Playground Hound

Utah Playground Safety Week - Teach playground safety with Slyde The Playground Hound. Slyde the Playground Hound is always ready and willing to teach playground safety. Here are 10 Fun and Easy Ways that Slyde can help you teach playground safety during “Playground Safety Week.”

Also Slyde would like you to have your free copy of the “Public Playground Safety Handbook”.

So join us for “Playground Safety Week.”

In Pursuit of (Safe) Play,

Rhetta McIff – LuckyDog Recreation – Utah Playgrounds, Creative Designer

Busy Bee’s Day Care and School Opens 3 New Playgrounds

The open-house for Busy Bee’s Day Care playgrounds in Roy, Utah is over and years of play have just begun on three unique PlayCraft playground systems.

The Busy Bee’s Playhouse grand opening for the playgrounds was attended by well over 500 people, children and their accompanying grown-ups. It was phenomenal sight to see, you can read the Standard Examiner’s news article here.

Although all the hoopla of the grand opening event has calmed, there is still a “Busy Bee Buzz” at the child care center. Teachers report they can’t get the children off the new playground equipment when play time is over.

Well, we at LuckyDog love hearing that kind of news, so we think it’s only fair to share with you what all the excitement is about.

There are three distinct play areas designated by age; Toddler, ages 12 months to 2 years, Pre-school, ages 2-5 years and School-age, from 5-12 years old.

The Toddler Playground area is fully shaded with a large fabric shade. There is an interactive play house, clubhouse, and an age appropriate playground structure for little ones 12 months to 2 years.

Playcraft Playground Slide for Toddlers at Busy Bee's Day Care in Roy, Utah


The Pre-School Playground has a full Playcraft playground structure with age appropriate elements like the with a one-piece spiral slide so tender bottoms won’t hit the slide bumps. In addition to the structure there’s a sand and water table.


tots gas station

A custom electronic driver panel, pretend gas pump and traffic signs, all surrounded by an awesome trike-track. To round it all up, fun directional signage was painted on the newly formed concrete pad. All in all, the preschoolers at Busy Bee’s are very busy checking out all their new toys.

School Age Playground boasts a full PlayCraft system that fills the entire courtyard. I just love the Boogie Board, a PlayCraft exclusive, because it challenges balance and promotes group play; the kids race around and in circles.

best roller

Boogie Board

I also love the spiral step climber. It runs the entire height of the playground for a super eye-foot coordination challenge. The Spin-Max-Tower is another PlayCraft favorite, kids love dizzy-making and this toy is perfect for a boat-load of children to play all at the same time.

climbing sails



All equipment is bright and colorful; the fabric shades on each of the three play areas are different colors. The School Age play area has two fabric Shade-Sails that tower taller than the building, when you’re on the highway approaching the Busy Bee’s Playhouse your eye is drawn to them.

It makes me wonder if enrollment has increased, ha, ha, because there’s not a kid out there that wouldn’t want to play at Busy Bee’s.

Busy Bee’s child care and schools are in a very unique setting. Dove Covenant owns Heritage Park Care Center for skilled nursing and rehabilitation services at the same location. Busy Bee’s is the “only” Childcare Facility owned and operated by Dove Covenant. This makes for a very nice mix of young and old on the same property.

Weighing in on what the children think of their new playground is always fun. However, Covenant Dove, the owners that hired LuckyDog for the project also get to weighed in on what they think of their new playground:

“I have been receiving updates from Kevin, Facilities Coordinator and Phil, Director of Heritage Park Care Center, along the way and they are both thrilled with the end results.

“I commend CJ for all the hard work and devotion he put into this project. You two make a great team and I am so glad you were selected for this project.”   Andy Shafer, Director of Construction

Thank you CJ and your fantastic crew for the excellent, top notch care and attention to detail. I agree with Andy, you are to be commended. I’m a LuckyDog to get to work with such a great team.

LuckyDog Recreation Utah Playground Constrution Crew

LuckyDog Crew

See you at the playground.

Nicole Stoddard, VP of PlayCraft Sales

P.S. We were proud to host Slyde the Playground Hound to teach everyone about playground safety.

P.S.S. This PlayCraft playground in Roy, Utah is unique in size, layout and so watch for future posts and video.

LuckyDog Recreation presents Slyde the Playground Hound to teach playground safety at Busys Bee's Playhouse in Roy Utah

Slyde the Playground Hound

Slyde the Playground Hound at Canyon View Grand Opening

Kids absolutely love Slyde the Playground Hound

Slyde the Playground Hound brings his “Play Smart, Play Safe! message to Utah Kids. Slyde was invited to the Grand Opening of the Canyon View Park in Nephi, Utah.

Children become aware of playground safety in a way that is fun, entertaining and easy to remember. As you can tell, kids adore Slyde! He is the perfect playground safety spokesdog.

Slyde would love to deliver his playground safety message to the kids in your community!  We offer the Slyde costume and prizes as part of every playground package we sell.

Make your playground grand opening fun and safe! Just tell us you want Slyde to appear and we will make arrangements for the Slyde costume, games, coloring books and stickers to be at your park or playground.

Be Safe! and Have Fun!

Nicole Stoddard, Playground Equipment for Utah and Idaho

Playground Equipment Utah Call Button

Slyde The Playground Hound Goes To Nephi, Utah Playground Celebration

Slyde The Playground Hound will bring his “Play Smart – Play Safe” message to the Nephi, Utah Canyon View Ball Park Celebration.

 Slyd the Playground Hound teaches playgroundafey at Nephi Utah Park.The purpose of Slyde’s “Play Smart – Play Safe” visit is to teach children their role in playing safe and avoiding hazards on and around playground equipment.

 “Slyde the Playground Hound is an animated character that children identify with and listen to. He presents a message of safe play that is entertaining and fun.

“We are bringing Slyde to the celebration to teach children that most playground injuries are unintentional, yet preventable by taking common sense steps for safe play,” said Nicole Stoddard of LuckyDog Recreation. LuckyDog is the supplier and playground contractor for the playground equipment at the park.

The newly renovated park boasts two exciting merry-go-rounds, two swing sets and a giant Dynamo Net Climber that reaches 18’ into the air. Each spinning merry-go-round is unique in its own right. The Dynamo Apollo® Climbing Spinner is a rope-based toy that can accommodate 35 laughing kids at one time. The solid base floor is perfect for those with disabilities. The Playcraft® GYRO-POD spinner is as wild and fun as it looks. This spinner provides dynamic spinning action for six to twelve children at a time.

 “Swing sets are still a playground favorite. Swings are great fun, and help children develop physically and socially. From an early age children enjoy the movement and the delight of swinging to their heart’s content,” said Stoddard.

“Working with Philip Baker, Nephi City Parks Superintendent is inspiring. Mr. Baker has a remarkable passion for creating play space and recreational activities for his community. It shows in his choice of playground equipment…something for everyone. Thanks to Philip, Slyde will be at Canyon View to meet the children and teach playground safety,” added Stoddard.

Mark your calendars for family fun! Come and meet Slyde on Monday June 15, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The Canyon View Ball Park is located at 100 N. 600 E. in Nephi, Utah.

The celebration will start with new ball field lighting donor appreciation and new playground and pavilion ribbon cutting. Activities include games, free hot dogs, root beer and chips. At dusk there will be a free movie in the park: “Million Dollar Arm.”

luckydog recreation and slyde the playground houndWe would love to bring Slyde to celebrate the opening of your new LuckyDog Recreation playground.

Or you can invite Slyde to teach playground safety at your school or playground by visiting Slyde at

Play Safe!

Nicole Stoddard, LuckyDog Recreation Sales and Service

P.S. Here are a few pictures of the playground at Canyon View Ball Park in Nephi, Utah.

Swing Sets are still a playground favorite.

Utah Playground Construction - Nephi Canyon View Ball Park

This playground boasts 2 very different spinners:

The Dynamo Apollo® Climbing Spinner is a rope-based toy that can accommodate
35 laughing kids at one time.


The Playcraft GYRO-POD Spinner™ is tons of fun packed into a small space.




Playcraft™ Playground Systems for Utah – Idaho – Wyoming

With over 23 years of experience under our belts, you can bet we have installed most playground systems manufactured in the U.S. and Canada.

Choosing a Playground System

A few years ago, CJ and I decided it would be much easier to actually design, sell and install only the best playground systems on the market. That is when LuckyDog Recreation was born.

It was not hard to choose which companies we wanted to represent. When it came to a complete system, Playcraft™ Systems beat the rest, hands down.

Playcraft at Summit Park

Why Playcraft™ Playground Systems?

Time and Money: Because Playcraft™ Systems always delivers on time, we save money. This makes it easy to plan on the exact delivery date, we can pass that savings on to our customers.

Playcraft™ is manufactured in Grants Pass, Oregon, which not only saves us in shipping but creates less of an environmental footprint.

Innovation and Manufacturing:  At Playcraft™, playground equipment is custom designed and individually manufactured for each playground site. They offer the highest quality, heavy duty commercial playground equipment. They stay ahead of the competition with new innovative designs and color combinations to fit any park or school playground.

IPMASafety: Of course we included safety as a big factor. Every company we work with is an IPEMA Certified manufacturer. IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association), provides 3rd party product safety certification services for U.S. and Canadian manufacturers.

Just a few of the Playcraft™ Commercial Playground Systems we have designed and installed are in our video. They are located at:

Bellano Creek – Meridian, ID

Price River Trail – Price, UT

Bothwell City Park – Bothwell, UT

Mt. Pleasant Elementary – Mt Pleasant, UT

Farnsworth Elementary – Rigby, ID

Greystone Apartments – Caldwell, ID

Eaglewood Apartments – Salt Lake City, UT

Wellington Elementary – Wellington, UT

Hawthorne Gardens Apartments – Chubbuck, ID

Willow Creek Elementary – Meridian, ID

Residences of Mayfield – Pleasant Grove, UT

Open Classroom – Salt Lake City, UT

Fiddlers Canyon Elementary – Cedar City, UT

Heron Village Apartments – Meridian, ID

Summit Street Play Area – Evanston, WY

Bud Bailey Apartments – Salt Lake City, UT

In Pursuit of Play!


P.S. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not remind you to call us for your very own custom Playcraft™ Playground System. LuckyDog is the exclusive rep for Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. 

Pin It on Pinterest