It’s National Playground Safety Week
Playgrounds are magnets for children of all ages — a place to socialize, burn off energy, and have fun. Making sure these outdoor spaces remain safe for kids is key, which is why the last week in April is designated National Playground Safety Week.
Why was National Playground Safety Week Created?
Playground safety gained attention in 1997 when the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) sponsored its first National Playground Safety Day in April of that year. The event proved so popular, it was expanded to a full week in 1999 and has occurred annually ever since. The NPPS developed the S.A.F.E. model (Supervision, Appropriate Development Design, Fall Surfacing, and Equipment) as a guide for designing and constructing playgrounds with as few safety hazards as possible. This means:
- Provide proper playground supervision
- Design age-appropriate playgrounds
- Provide proper surfacing under and around playground equipment
- Keep playground equipment properly maintained
These four elements serve as a focus for activities throughout the week.
Playground Safety is a Year-Round Commitment
This year, National Playground Safety Week runs from April 24 – April 28, 2023. It’s a time to encourage children to play safely and adults to create and maintain safe play spaces. While it’s important to have a designated week in which to raise awareness, playground safety is a year-round commitment and everyone can become involved! In addition to practicing the four S.A.F.E. elements, here are some other ways you can help.
- Create surveys and distribute to children and parents to learn about favorite and least favorite playground equipment, as well as persistent playground problems and injuries.
- Visit your child’s school to monitor supervision of students on the playground.
- If your state hasn’t already signed a proclamation for National Playground Safety Week, contact your governor to encourage participation.
- Create posters outlining S.A.F.E. playground practices and distribute to schools and community areas.
- Complete playground equipment safety checks. Look for items such as hard surfacing beneath the equipment and contact the owners/persons responsible if there are safety concerns. Offer to help provide safe surfacing.
- Host a guest speaker to discuss playground safety.
- Write to the editor of your local newspaper or post to an online forum such as NextDoor commenting on any playground safety issues and commending facilities with safe playgrounds.
- Talk to your kids about playground safety and develop five playground rules they will adopt and follow.
For more information about playground safety or tips for getting involved, contact the fun abounds team anytime!