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September 7th, 2005 - Welch Products announces SPECTRA - (Safe Play for Early Childhood: Training, Resources & Assessment) a partnership between the National Safe Surfacing Initiative (NSSI), the sales and marketing arm of Welch Products, and the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) to provide safe outdoor environments for young children at pre-schools and daycare centers. 


"Children playing and learning in the outdoors require a safe, secure education environment in the early childhood setting.  This type of environment can be accomplished through pre-planning and the provision of a safe foundation," said Dr. Donna Thompson NPPS Director.  "The SPECTRA Program will provide the training, resources and assessment services along with the infrastructure necessary for Childcare Centers to provide safe outdoor play areas."


"Young children in childcare centers are smaller and less coordinated than older children.  They have a higher likelihood of tripping, falling and being injured on loose fill surfacing such as wood chips, sand, or pea gravel that is not maintained," said Tim Mahoney, NSSI President.  "In addition, loose fill surfacing such as pea gravel and rubber chips can end up in small children's mouths." 


As part of the SPECTRA Program, NPPS staff members will work with Childcare Centers in planning play areas and provide the NPPS S.A.F.E. Package to help them develop policies and procedures for the outdoor play and learning areas.  After the initial planning stage, NSSI will provide DuroMat Extended Life™ Playground Safety Surfacing in appropriate areas and assist with low interest financing.


Initial results from research conducted by NPPS the last three years indicates that when DuroMat Extended Life™ Playground Safety Surfacing is placed in and around playground equipment, serious injuries are reduced by 55%.


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