FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2005
New Playground Surfacing at Lynnville-Sully Elementary: Students will benefit from safer surfacing -
District will benefit from lower maintenance costs
SULLY IOWA - The first day
of school at Lynnville-Sully Elementary School opens a new chapter for
playground safety with the installation of DuroMat Extended Life™ playground
safety tiles, a safer surface proven to dramatically reduce injuries at a
number of schools across the state, Superintendent Duane Willhite said today.
Willhite credited the Iowa Playground Surfacing
Program (IPSP), for helping the school design and purchase the surfacing, which
has been shown to produce significant savings in medical expenses.
"The Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB)
partners with the National Safe Surfacing Initiative in Carlisle, Iowa, to
offer the IPSP to schools statewide," said Jinny Tagatz, who administers the
playground program at IASB. The
surfacing is a critical solution for protecting children from playground
injuries as well as for providing universal access for students with
disabilities and more outside play time for students while creating long-term
savings on maintenance costs," Tagatz said.
"Parents and teachers often hear children say that recess is their
favorite 'class' and I think recess is going to be even more popular with
Lynnville-Sully's students when they get to play on this new playground
The Iowa Playground Safety Program is the result of
overwhelming demand, for playground safety tiles, created by the Iowa Safe
Surfacing Initiative (ISSI). The ISSI
is a popular state-funded program that began as a research project in 2003 to
test the efficacy of playground safety tiles.
Legislators and Governor Tom Vilsack have approved $500,000 each fiscal
year since then to continue the testing while providing safer playground
surfacing at dozens of elementary and pre-school playgrounds throughout
The National Program for Playground Safety, located at
the University of Northern Iowa, has administered the grants provided by the
state of Iowa, and conducted the ongoing study. So far, results have proven positive for Iowa's children. During the 2003-2004 school year, injury
statistics from 11 playgrounds after
DuroMat Extended Life™ playground tiles were installed resulted in fifty-eight
fewer injuries in the targeted playgrounds.
Serious injuries, those requiring medical attention, were reduced by 55
"Every injury, even a minor one, requires at least 30 minutes of
attention and at least $25 in staff time.
Yet, the real benefits from the 55-percent reduction in more-serious
injuries is far more substantial," said Heather Olsen of the National Program
for Playground Safety. "Eleven children were injured seriously enough on these
playgrounds in the year before the initiative that they needed hospital
treatment. Only five such incidents
happened after the safer surfacing was installed and training took place. Using
the average of $6,000 per visit, medical expenses were reduced $36,000 in one
year and a great deal of pain and grief was prevented for kids and parents."
The DuroMat Extended Life™ playground tiles for
Lynnville-Sully and other sites around the state are made with a patented cold
cure process utilizing a special blend of rubber and polymers developed and
manufactured by Welch Products of Carlisle.
The National Safe Surfacing Initiative is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Welch Products. Its mission is to partner with government agencies to improve playground
safety for children, lower maintenance costs for taxpayers and minimize
liability risks for school districts and other entities. The NSSI provides a full portfolio of playground
safety audits, inspections, designs, and certifications to bring playground
surfacing into compliance with federal and state guidelines. The
organization also provides unique financing and fund-raising solutions that
enable communities to invest in safer playground surfaces that meet stringent safety