July is Park and Recreation Month
Since 1985, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has designated July as Park and Recreation month and this year’s community-chosen theme is OUT is IN. Park and recreation departments across the nation are focusing on getting people outside, changing their outlook, and getting them involved in their community through parks and recreation! It’s an exciting time for parks and recreation, with the recent announcement of $43 million to states for parks and outdoor recreation through the Land Water Conservation Fund. New parks will be springing up across the country while existing parks will be getting that makeover that many of us have been waiting to see. Secretary of the Interior Salley Jewell put it best when she said “These local projects – parks, ball fields, open spaces – play an important role in improving the health and vitality of urban areas, and protecting natural areas for future generations of Americans to enjoy.”
More renovated parks and the addition of brand new parks mean more people will be utilizing them. Although this is a great move in the right direction, it also raises concerns about safety.
Each year over 200,000 children are injured on America’s playgrounds. Although some measures have been initiated to address the growing problems of safety, we at GARED believe more can be done and have created some solutions to help combat the likelihood of injury at a park.
1.) PlayRX – PlayRX was created as a tool to diagnose and treat common, yet sometimes overlooked, maintenance issues on athletic equipment. These maintenance issues, while sometimes small, can save time, money, and future injuries if corrected in a timely manner. Something as simple as a basketball net not properly fastened to a rim may look harmless, but it can put stress on the rim’s net connection, causing damage to the basketball rim itself. This will make the repair more costly in the long run. Another overlooked item is connection hardware. If your inspection crew does not regularly check for things such as loose bolts or screws, this could result in an unsafe play environment and possible injuries. To learn more about the PlayRX Program and download the outdoor form, please follow the link -http://www.garedsports.com/about-us/playrx-program. The form provided on the website can be used by local athletic equipment dealers or even park and recreation departments to ensure their parks are safe for play. By sending GARED’s Customer Service team your equipment report card, we can direct you to your local GARED dealer with a specialized recommendation to fit both your budget and play environment. Don’t feel comfortable filling out the form yourself? GARED offers a program to send a certified equipment inspector to your facility for a complete review of your play environments.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 314-421-6014 with your form or to schedule a personalized visit.
2.) Playground Padding – Padding can be an easy and inexpensive solution to providing additional safety to parks and playgrounds. However, outdoor padding is something that is often overlooked. There are a number of areas that padding can substantially decrease the possibility of someone getting injured. One example would be a park with a wall mounted basketball hoop. With play being so close to the wall, the likelihood of someone getting pushed or falling into the wall is high. Another example would be an unprotected basketball post, which is an easy target for someone to run into while playing. To help avoid individuals getting injured in these areas, GARED offers a variety of options for padding including backboard, post, and wall pads. To check out our wide variety of safety pads, please visit our website or download the GARED Full Line Catalog at http://www.garedsports.com/resources/catalogs.
Want more tips about playground safety and more info about what GARED can do for you?