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Nanny’s Notes

Issue 5, June 17, 2000
Playground Safety

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CONTENTS
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Advertisement
The Nursing Mom's News
News
American Playgrounds Dangerous
Advertisement
woman2woman Newsletter
Tips and Tidbits
Safety: Playground Safety Tips
For Parents: Fun Things to Do With Your Baby,
Birth to Six Months
Advertisement
Toys from Whimsicality
Resources
For Parents-Web Site: Consumer Product Safety
Commission's Playground Safety Publications
For Children-Book: Are You My Mother?
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Infant Massage

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NEWS
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American Playgrounds Dangerous

Wood or metal swings, slides higher than six feet, small gaps or protrusions that can catch on children's clothing, and hard playing surfaces are just some of the hazards children in the United States face when they play on public playgrounds, according to the fifth nationwide investigation of public playgrounds released June 15, 2000 by the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

The survey took place from March to May 2000 and looked at 1024 playgrounds in 27 states (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) and Washington, D.C. Among the findings:

*80% of the playgrounds did not have the right kind of protective surfaces. This was a decrease from 87% in 1998. Having a protective surface is the most important playground safety factor as approximately 75% of all playground injuries are caused by falls.

There has been a continued decline in hard playground surfaces such as cement, packed dirt, or asphalt since the first survey. In 1992 31% of the playgrounds had hard surfaces; this dropped to 13% in 1994, 9% in 1996, 8% in 1998, and to 5% in 2000. However, many playgrounds still have mixed surfacing, with safe materials in some areas and hard surfaces in others.

*27% of the playgrounds had at least some swings that were too close together or too close to swing supports. Both situations increase the risk that your child could be hit by a moving swing.

*38% had dangerous equipment, such as animal swings, chain or cable walks and individual climbing ropes.

To find out more, please visit http://pirg.org/reports/consumer/playground2000/, where you'll find the Executive Summary of the report, plus links to other information. This page also includes individual state summaries and datasheets for the specific playgrounds investigated. If you live in one of the states listed, it's a good idea to go take a look -- you might find information about your playground.

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We will be announcing our new name soon. In the mean time subscribe to our FREE publication by emailing subscriptions@VHPublishing.com with name and email (or land address if no internet access). Cathy Hartt, CNM,Editor

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TIPS AND TIDBITS
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Playground Safety Tips

Each year in the United States, an average of 17 children die following playground accidents and over 170,000 children are injured seriously enough to require emergency room treatment.

Is your child's playground safe? Here are some things to check:

*Surfaces around and under playground equipment should be covered with at least 12 inches of loose-fill surfacing materials such as wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or be made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials. The material should not be wet or compacted, and should should extend at least 6 feet in all directions from the equipment to give plenty of safe fall room. For swings, the safe surface should cover the ground, front and back, twice the height of the suspending bar. Unsafe surfaces include concrete, asphalt, grass, soil, and hard packed dirt.

*The fall zone around each piece of equipment should be free of all obstacles, including other play structures. For example, equipment less than 30 inches high should be at least 6 feet apart; equipment higher than 30 inches should be 9 feet apart. (Read the Parent Checklist at the url given below for details on specific kinds of play equipment.)

*All elevated surfaces such as as platforms, bridges, walkways, and ramps should have guard rails or another kind of protective barrier.

*Is any of the equipment too high? For preschool children, the highest climbing rung or platform should be no higher than 4 feet above the surface. For school-age children, 6 feet is the maximum.

*Are the swings made of hard, heavy material? Are they too close together or too close to the support structure? Swing seats should not be made of heavy rigid materials such as wood or metal. Heavy hard hitting swings are especially dangerous and should not be on the playground. These include animal swings, gliders, swinging exercise rings, and trapeze bars.

*Check for open "S" hooks, gaps, holes, protrusions and other items that could catch on your child's clothing, possibly leading to strangulation. Be sure to check at the top of slides.

*Check for any spaces where your child's head could become trapped. Any opening should be less than 3.5 inches or greater than than 9 inches.

*Check for sharp point and edges, exposed or moving parts, or other areas which could injure your child.

*Are there items your child could trip over, such as tree stumps, rocks, and concrete footings?

*Are there signs of deterioration, corrosion, or vandalism, such as splinters, large splits, decay, rust, and peeling or chipping paint? Also check handholds, guard rails and swing seats to make sure they are still solidly attached.

If you find that your playground is unsafe, contact the owner or operator and let them know about the hazards.

These tips are compiled from information from:
The Consumer Product Safety Commission's Public Playground Safety Checklist
and the Consumer Federation of America Parent Checklist: How Safe is Your Local Playground? (PDF file)


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Fun Things to Do With Your Baby: Birth to Six Months Wonder Play Cover

*Dance to your favorite music while holding him. Dance fast or slow, gently or rhythmically, depending on your mood and his.

*When your baby is on her back looking at you, sing a song while you move her legs gently in different ways. Try moving them like she's riding a bicycle or in a scissors motion. When Olivia was this age I used to move her legs in the five basic ballet positions. I also made up a "Vegetable Song" that ended with me tickling her.

*Play with your baby while he's on the changing table. Keep a clean cloth diaper on hand to play peek-a-boo with him and remember to sing and talk to him while you're changing his diapers.

*Show her "the baby in the mirror" and watch her reactions to this "other" baby.

These ideas are from Wonderplay : Interactive & Developmental Games, Crafts, & Creative Activities for Infants, Toddlers, & Preschoolers
by Fretta Reitzes, Beth Teitelman (Contributor), Lois Alter Mark
For more information or to buy this book, please go to Amazon

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Toys from Whimsicality Toys from Whimsicality
http://whimsicality.com/

Whimsicality-Toys that bring out your child's imagination, Naturally. Quality wooden baby rattles, puzzles, games, toys. Soft bears, dolls, puppets, and toys. Stockmar art supplies, and much more for playtime fun!

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RESOURCES
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Consumer Product Safety Commission's Playground Safety Publications
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/playpubs.html

This page has a list of links to information about playground safety, including both home and public playgrounds.
One item is the 46 page Handbook for Public Playground Safety which you can download in PDF format.

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Are You My Mother? Are You My Mother?
by P. D. Eastman (Illustrator)

Mother Bird's egg is just about ready to hatch, so she leaves her nest to find food for her baby. But the egg hatches while she's gone, and Baby Bird decides to go look for her. He finds a kitten, a hen, a dog and other creatures and things, but does not find his mother. Eventually, a happy encounter brings him back home just as she returns with a big worm.

This is an easy-to-read book for ages 4 to 8; younger children will enjoy following the adventures of Baby Bird as he seeks his mother. (It's fun to read aloud, too!)

For more information or to buy this book, please go to Amazon.

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Copyright 2000 by Donna Zelzer, all rights reserved.
The individual writers hold copyright to the individual articles.
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Back to Nanny’s Place

Read the Archives
May 7, 2000: Sample
No. 1, May 20 ,2000: Lead Poisoning
No. 2, May 27, 2000: Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome
No.3, June 3, 2000
No. 4, June 10, 2000: Fire Safety
No. 5, June 17, 2000: Playground Safety
No. 6, June 24, 2000: Toy Safety
No. 7, July 1, 2000: Car Seat Safety
No. 8, July 8, 2000: Dangerous Substances in the Environment
No. 9, July 15, 2000: Summer Health and Safety
No. 10, July 22, 2000: Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting
No. 11, July 29, 2000: Fun and Games
No. 12, Aug 5, 2000: Arts, Crafts, and Paper Fun
No. 13, Aug, 12 2000: Everyday Safety
The Rest of the Issues



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MoonLily Homespace holder Read Articles space holder Shop space holderNanny’s Placespace holder Online Birth Center space holderHerbs
The Chariotspace holder Spirit Speaksspace holder Magical Journeysspace holder Science and Science Fictionspace holder Free Stuff

Read the Archives
May 7, 2000: Sample
No. 1, May 20 ,2000: Lead Poisoning
No. 2, May 27, 2000: Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome
No.3, June 3, 2000
No. 4, June 10, 2000: Fire Safety
No. 5, June 17, 2000: Playground Safety
No. 6, June 24, 2000: Toy Safety
No. 7, July 1, 2000: Car Seat Safety
No. 8, July 8, 2000: Dangerous Substances in the Environment
No. 9, July 15, 2000: Summer Health and Safety
No. 10, July 22, 2000: Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting
No. 11, July 29, 2000: Fun and Games
No. 12, Aug 5, 2000: Arts, Crafts, and Paper Fun
No. 13, Aug, 12 2000: Everyday Safety
The Rest of the Issues

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