Governor Proclaims National Playground Safety Week
Although children rarely give a second thought to safety on the playground, parents, educators, political leaders and play equipment manufacturers keep the topic at the forefront throughout the year. Through free play, kids build strength, self-esteem and relationship skills. The Power of Play is undeniable, and children should be able to enjoy its benefits, and be safe at the same time.
GameTime, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of playground equipment will observe National Playground Safety Week April 21st through 25th, and encourages the citizens of Alabama, and America, to do the same. The manufacturer, located in Fort Payne, Alabama, contacted Governor Don Riley to obtain an official proclamation that recognizes this important event.
The weeklong focus is timely, as children often head back to the playground with the arrival of Spring. Governor Riley’s proclamation, issued March 28th, specifically calls on those who have made the commitment to Alabama’s children, to help reduce the number of injuries that may occur on a playground by keeping children SAFE. The significance of the initials, created by the National Program for Playground Safety, stand for four basic guidelines designed to improve playground safety:
Providing ample Supervision - Adult presence is needed to watch for potential hazards, observe, intercede and facilitate play when necessary. Strings on clothing or ropes used for play can cause accidental strangulation if caught on equipment.
Age-appropriate equipment - Preschoolers, ages 2 - 5, and children, ages 5 - 12, are developmentally different and need different equipment located in separate areas to keep the playground safe and fun for all.
Adequate material to soften Falls - Acceptable surfaces include hardwood fiber/mulch (installed at an adequate depth to equipment height guideline) and synthetic materials such as poured-in-place, rubber mats or tiles. Playground surfaces should not be concrete, asphalt, grass, blacktop, packed dirt or rocks.
Proper Equipment maintenance - Check to make sure the equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed, bolts are not protruding, there are no exposed footings, etc.
Schools parks and public facilities who provide playgrounds for children are urged to use the guidelines to help keep the children of Alabama safer while at play.
GameTime, along with Governor Riley, asked all adults to observe this event and help keep our children safe on the playground throughout the year. For more information on age appropriate play, or surfacing guidelines please contact GameTime at 800-235-2440 or www.gametime.com.
Founded 1n 1929, GameTime is the innovative leader in changing the face and direction of children’s playground environments. GameTime produces and markets the largest selection of creative play systems ever offered. The company creates equipment that continually exceeds safety requirements and accommodates children with special needs. They are committed to developing park and playground equipment that develops children’s physical, emotional and cognitive skills, all while being durable and fun.