S.A.F.E. Play Areas: Creation, Maintenance, and Renovation

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9780736060035: S.A.F.E. Play Areas: Creation, Maintenance, and Renovation

For children, playgrounds and play areas are a recipe for fun—or perhaps an accident waiting to happen. Playing without fear or tears provides many benefits to a child's development. Yet every year, hundreds of thousands of children suffer serious playground-related injuries that require emergency medical treatment.

Written by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) staff, S.A.F.E. Play Areas: Creation, Maintenance, and Renovation is a resource for facility managers, administrators, and play supervisors in any playground or play area. This all-in-one guide explores the four components of the thoroughly tested, easy-to-implement S.A.F.E. model:

-Supervision—adults must be trained in appropriate active supervision tecniques.

-Age-appropriate design—children of varying age groups need equipment designed for their specific developmental characteristics.

-Fall surfacing—the type and depth of ground materials must be adequate for cushioning falls.

-Equipment—plastic, wooden, and metal equipment must be maintained, repaired, and replaced.

For each component, the authors first examine the research to show why it's a critical part of safety. Then they explain how to put that knowledge to practical use. The book also explores the history of playground safety and debunks 10 common myths about what makes a good or safe play area.

The book includes a CD-ROM that offers a presentation package of slides for use as a quick refresher course in supervision, design, surfacing, and equipment maintenance for experienced employees or as foundational training for new employees. The CD-ROM also contains the six reproducible forms from the book in PDF format for easy printing. The forms can be used in assessing the safety of play areas, which is crucial for school, community, and youth administrators responsible for ensuring that play areas comply with their risk management plans. Also included is a student injury report form that school staff can use for documenting playground injuries to students. This form can also be modified for use in child care settings.

This book and CD-ROM package makes it easy to understand and use the S.A.F.E. model, which is based on current research by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS). The NPPS works with playground equipment manufacturers and national youth organizations to disseminate current information on selecting and maintaining playground equipment, and they offer best practices in play area supervision. As a leader in promoting play area safety since 1995, the NPPS has trained risk management and play area supervisors in schools, recreation and park departments, youth organizations, and child care center administrators nationwide.

Injuries can be prevented. S.A.F.E. Play Areas: Creation, Maintenance, and Renovation can show you how.

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About the Author:

Donna Thompson, PhD, is an acknowledged national and international expert in the field of playground development and safety, and she is the executive director of the National Program for Playground Safety. She has more than 30 years of experience in teaching, writing, and researching about playgrounds. She has given numerous presentations on playground development, including television interviews on ABC's “Good Morning America,” CBS' “Early Edition,” “CNN Headline News,” and NBC's “Today” program. She has served as consultant for numerous groups planning playgrounds and has been called as an expert witness on playground safety. Dr. Thompson is recognized by early childhood educators, physical educators, elementary principals, park and recreation professionals, and parents for her expertise in playground safety.

Susan D. Hudson, PhD, is a nationally acknowledged expert in the area of playground safety and the education director of the National Program for Playground Safety. She has made presentations both nationally and internationally on playground design and safety and is the author or coauthor of more than 175 articles concerning playgrounds. As the education director, she has spearheaded major research projects for NPPS. Dr. Hudson has held numerous leadership and committee assignments in national professional organizations, including the American Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the National Recreation and Park Association. She holds an endowed professorship at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

Heather M. Olsen, MA, is the operations director for the National Program for Playground Safety at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. She has been associated with the development of playgrounds and educating the public about maintenance, supervision, and age appropriateness; has given presentations throughout the country about the design of safe playgrounds; and has written many articles on creating playgrounds for children. She is also the major developer of the new online training program for NPPS. Ms Olsen is a NPPS playground safety school instructor and a member of the Iowa Playground Safety Network and the Black Hawk County Safe Kids Coalition.

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Thompson, Donna, Hudson, Susan, Olsen, H
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