What and When?
In 2005, National Playground Safety Week was kicked off on April 25 with the “Play S.A.F.E. Promise” campaign. In short, children promised to play safe, and schools and child care providers were encouraged to be sure the play facilities are a safe environment for children’s play.
In recognition of these efforts, nominations are taken each year for the Ahren’s Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award, and also for the John Preston Playground Safety Award. Nominees and recipients of these awards are definitely in the front running for helping raise awareness for playground safety.
The 2005 winners of these awards were Darlene O’Keefe from Buffalo, NY, for the Ahren’s Award, and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration for the first annual John Preston Playground Safety Award.
Why have it? For the very reason stated above…to encourage children to play safe and providers to create and maintain safe play areas for children.
How can you participate in Playground Safety Week this year? There are a number of ways to join in.
You’ll find the following Play S.A.F.E. Promise Activities on the National Program for Playground Safety website:
- Talk with children about the importance of playground safety.
- Help children become a Kid Checker by using NPPS Kid Checker program.
- For preschool children, NPPS' Sammy’s Playground Pointers is available to help educate them.
- Use NPPS Lesson Plans to check for playground safety.
- Implement Slyde the Playground Hound’s Play Safe, Play Smart Program.
- Write letters to your governor.
The NPPS also invites you to help persuade the governor in your state to declare April 24-28, 2006, as National Playground Safety Week.
The NPPS will contact the governors of all 50 states as well and ask them to get on board by signing a proclamation of support for safe playground areas. As a state resident, you can become involved and help out with getting your state to join. It has gone from two states in 1997 to 40 in 2005. To find out whether or not your state has joined and to nominate for the playground safety advocate or the John Preston Safety Award, you can visit the NPPS website at www.playgroundsafety.org/safetyweek/. You can also call 800-554-PLAY for further information.