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
- 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.
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
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