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  Children’s Announces Opening of State-of-the-Art Safe Playground
July 27, 2007

Washington, DC—Children’s National Medical Center’s Injury Free Coalition for Kids program in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation and The Allstate Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of a new refurbished playground located in the Petworth community at 801 Taylor St. NW, Saturday, July 28 at 2 p.m. The playground is specially designed to keep kids safe at play and to reduce playground injuries.

“Injuries are by far the number one reason we see kids in our emergency department and playground-related injuries have increased in recent years,” said Joseph Wright, MD, MPH, Executive Director of the Child Health Advocacy Institute at Children’s. “We take injury prevention very seriously. Creating safe environments for children is part of our prevention strategy.”

In 2003, Children’s saw 169 total playground related Emergency Department visits with 23 from the Petworth community alone. These reported estimates are most likely far lower than the actual level of injuries occurring.

The new playground is the result of nearly three years of planning, fundraising and construction and will cater to children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. The materials and design of the playground promote safety and injury prevention.

The renovated playground uses rubber surfacing, as opposed to woodchips and has no sharp edges. The ladders, swings and boards are an appropriate height for children and basketball and tennis courts are distanced to keep younger children safe from proximity injuries. It serves as a model for future playground “makeovers” in other areas of Washington, DC, and in other U.S. cities.