Spring into Summer with The Dirty Dozen Guide to Playground Safety

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As spring moves into summer play weather, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is reminding Americans to take the proper steps to ensure that their local playgrounds are safe places for play and recreation. To assist, NRPA has published The Dirty Dozen, a comprehensive brochure and playground-safety resource for playground managers, parents and caregivers.

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Playing outdoors is a major component in fighting childhood obesity, and significantly contributes to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of young people.

As spring moves into summer play weather, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is reminding Americans to take the proper steps to ensure that their local playgrounds are safe places for play and recreation. To assist, NRPA has published The Dirty Dozen, a comprehensive brochure and playground-safety resource for playground managers, parents and caregivers.

“Playing outdoors is a major component in fighting childhood obesity, and significantly contributes to the mental and physical health and wellbeing of young people,” said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA. “It is the responsibility of every community to provide children with safe and challenging play environments.”

The Dirty Dozen resource provides a checklist of the 12 most common safety hazards related to playgrounds, play equipment and surfacing materials, and includes supporting information, tips, safety standards and safety facts. For example, Section One discusses “Improper Protective Surfacing,” and includes examples of both safe and unsafe surfaces. Fact: Improper surfacing material under playground equipment is the leading cause of playground-related injuries, and more than 79 percent of all accidents on playgrounds are due to children falling.

Teri Hendy is president of the playground design and safety consulting firm Site Masters, Inc., and serves as an executive committee member for NRPA’s National Playground Safety Institute, creator of The Dirty Dozen resource.

“The Dirty Dozen is a great tool for parents and anyone who supervises children on a playground,” said Hendy. “By paying attention to the information contained in The Dirty Dozen and making certain that these potential hazards are eliminated, we can make America’s playgrounds a safer place to play.”

NRPA is dedicated to promoting children's rights to play in safe and challenging play environments, and to draw attention to the importance that play has in a child's development. In addition, NRPA is committed to providing materials and resources that, when coupled with knowledge and experience in eliminating safety hazards, will enable playground providers to establish a comprehensive program of playground management.

It is estimated that each year, more than 200,000 playground-related injuries occur in the U.S., and approximately fifteen children will die from injuries as a result of a playground accident.

Hard copies of The Dirty Dozen are available for purchase by the general public in packs of fifty. A free online presentation is available at http://www.nrpa.org/media/video/dirtydozen/dirtydozen.html.

For more information on The Dirty Dozen and playground safety, go to NRPA’s playground safety web site at http://www.nrpa.org/playgroundsafety, or contact Beth Wickline, education manager, at 703.858.2148.

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of roughly 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

For more information, visit http://www.NRPA.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit http://www.parksandrec-magazine.org.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A free Dirty Dozen brochure is available in PDF format for reporters for viewing and referencing.

Media Contacts:

Amy Kapp

National Recreation and Park Association

703.858.2151

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