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Free UAB service to help parents advocate for safer playgrounds, gyms
Date:4/19/2010

e built over asphalt or concrete rather than surfaces that can cushion a child's fall. Other hazards included broken or missing rungs on ladders, swings in which a child's hair or clothing could become entangled, exposed metal slides in direct sunlight that could lead to burns, sandboxes littered with broken glass, needles or other trash and playground equipment with excessive rust, splintered wood and exposed hardware connectors.

In gymnasiums, broken bleachers, blocked fire exits and inoperable fire alarms are also safety violations to watch for, said UAB Assistant Professor of Physical Education Sandra K. Sims, Ph.D.

"It's important, for example, for school gyms to have a place where students can get hydrated after a physical education class," Sims said. "Oftentimes in gyms you will see water fountains that are not in working order or they are filthy."

Geiger said he hopes that the assessment tools will bring more attention to playground and gym safety to ensure that more children are able to play in safe environments.

"Parents are the first health educators for children, and we as parents want our children to be active and not at risk for obesity or chronic diseases," said Geiger. "So we also have the responsibility to make sure that where we send them to be active is safe."


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Contact: Gail Short
gshort@uab.edu
205-934-8931
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

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