July is Park and Recreation Month and to celebrate, Associa, the largest community management services firm in North America, and Associa Supports Kids (ASK) offer park safety tips to ensure your child has a fun and safe month.
Whether large or small, rural or urban, local parks and recreation areas connect adults and children alike to nature, provide health and wellness opportunities, and help make communities livable and desirable. While having fun this summer, it’s important to be aware of safety.
The National Safety Council reports that more than 200,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms with injuries associated with playground equipment each year. Families are encouraged to consider the below 10 tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
On the playground
1. Make sure surfaces around playground equipment have at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.
2. Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, be sure surfacing extends, in back and front, twice the height of the suspending bar.
3. Make sure play structures more than 30 inches high are spaced at least 9 feet apart.
4. Check for dangerous hardware, like open "S" hooks or protruding bolt ends.
5. Make sure spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs, measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
6. Check for sharp points or edges in equipment.
7. Look out for tripping hazards, like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps and rocks.
8. Make sure elevated surfaces, like platforms and ramps, have guardrails to prevent falls.
9. Check playgrounds regularly to see that equipment and surfacing are in good condition.
10. Carefully supervise children on playgrounds to make sure they are safe.
Associa is a national sponsor of National Night Out 2013. Together, the two organizations build community and promote safety in and around our neighborhoods.
Associa Supports Kids is a value-added program for Associa community residents, designed to enhance the neighborhood community experience. The program focuses on educating parents and kids about safety and fitness. At neighborhood events, Scout, the ASK mascot, hands out Safety Tip coloring books, plush Scout toys, rub-on tattoos, and Scout’s own books – Scout Goes to the Beach, Scout Goes to a Sleepover and Scout Stays Active and Strong – to each child in attendance. Parents receive an ASK safety brochure and a ChildPrint identification kit. In addition, ASK is focused on keeping kids strong and healthy by promoting physical activity through sports sponsorships. For more information on both the Safety and Sports Sponsorships programs, visit www.associasupportskids.org.
Building successful communities for more than 30 years, Associa is North America’s largest community association management firm and serves its clients with local knowledge, national resources and comprehensive expertise. Based in Dallas, Associa and its 8,000 employees operate more than 150 branch offices in the United States, Mexico and Canada. To learn more about Associa and its charitable organization, Associa Cares, go to www.associaonline.com and www.associacares.com.
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Carol Piering, 214-716-3848