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Monday - October 16th, 2006


The National Safe Surfacing Initiative Culminates a Busy Season of Playground Surfacing Installations


The success of the National Safe Surfacing Initiative, the playground safety division of Welch Products, is showing that the company is having a positive influence on childcare centers and public schools with their unique brand of professional expertise and quality products necessary for upgrading playgrounds with rubber tile safety surfacing. As the efficacy of safety surfacing installations becomes more widely known and the number of installations grow, news agencies such as local television, radio and news papers are reporting on the increasing popularity of the new surfacing.


According to studies by the National Program for Playground Safety, approximately 80% of all school injuries happen outside the school building. Each year over 200,000 children are injured on playgrounds and over 70% of those injuries are caused by falls to the surface. Very relevant statistics when you consider the fact that schools and child care centers are just beginning to provide greater stewardship of their outdoor play and fitness environments.


Playground safety is becoming the focus of several federal and state agencies in an attempt to minimize the number and severity of injuries to children on playgrounds. Ten years ago, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta spun off a new group, the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), to study playground injuries and to research the steps necessary to minimize those injuries through education and compliance.


The State of Iowa launched the Iowa Safe Surfacing Initiative (ISSI) four years ago, in conjunction with the NPPS, to determine if the use of rubber safety tiles, manufactured in Iowa, would actually result in safer and more accessible playgrounds by reducing the number of emergency room injuries and providing ADA access to children of all abilities. Results from the NPPS over the first two years of the study have shown that playground safety tiles, used in conjunction with safety training, reduced emergency room injuries by 75%.


Made from hundreds of thousands of recycled tires, the surfacing installed this summer meets or exceeds all safety guidelines recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as well as those required by Detroit Testing Laboratories for IPEMA certification.


The NSSI's dedication to ongoing research, improving safer surfacing technology and changing public policy will continue to benefit the safety of children while improving our environment.



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