ERIC Number: EJ699320
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan-1
Reference Count: 7
How Safe Are School and Park Playgrounds?
Hudson, Susan D.; Thompson, Donna; Olsen, Heather
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), v76 n1 p16 Jan 2005
Playgrounds traditionally have been found in both schools and parks in America. Each year, parent-teacher associations and school administrations, as well as park and recreation departments, spend millions of dollars to provide playground structures. However, since 1981, HPER professionals and the public have become increasingly aware that these structures can also lead to injuries in children and pose a liability to the owner and operator of the play equipment. More than 200,000 children are injured annually in playground-related incidents that are serious enough for them to seek medical attention (Tinsworth & McDonald, 2001). Within the elementary school setting, 80 percent of injuries that occur at school happen on the playground (Bruya, 1998). One solution to this problem is to remove all play structures. After all, the reasoning goes, if no playground equipment is present, then the liability problem does not exist. However, this approach to the problem eliminates the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of children that can be gained from their interactions on play equipment. This zero approach also serves to devalue the play of children. This article reports on how SAFE America's school and park playgrounds are today, as found in the latest study. Specific topics that will be examined include a summary of the conditions of school and park playgrounds, a discussion of the four SAFE elements, and recommendations for change.
Descriptors: Child Safety, Accident Prevention, Playgrounds, School Safety, Play, Injuries, Recreational Facilities, Risk Management, Equipment Maintenance, Parks
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193, ext. 493 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States