Play Together. Play Smart. Play S.A.F.E.™

In partnership with a number of local, state, national, and federal organizations, NPPS has made a difference. We are indebted for the initial grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention (CDC). 

During the initial funding from CDC, NPPS accomplished the following activities:

  • During years 1996-1998 with CDC funding, NPPS conducted research on the impact of attenuation characteristics of playground loose-fill surfaces under a variety of conditions.

  • Conducted two national studies to assess the impact of environmental modifications and known risk factors on public playgrounds. A total of 6,045 playgrounds at child care centers, schools, and parks were assessed to determine the type of equipment found on playgrounds, fall surfacing materials, maintenance of fall surfacing, and maintenance of equipment.  A national report card was created for each state.

  • Developed the S.A.F.E.™ Surfacing Decision Making Model to guide the selection of appropriate surfacing decisions.

  • Developed three playground safety checklist manuals and resources for identifying safety concerns with playground equipment and surfacing.

  • Disseminated information through a toll-free number, website, social media, conferences, and workshops about playground injury prevention to keep public attention on the issue of playground safety.  

    • Created National Playground Safety Week.

  • NPPS has presented in all 50 states and 10 different countries and developed a National Playground Safety School which hosted individuals from all 50 states. NPPS continues to provide online and onsite training and curriculum materials on playground safety, playground maintenance, and fall surfacing as a service to educate on playground safety.

Since 2005, we continue to advocate, educate, and research

  • NPPS offers technical assistance to community agencies, Departments of Education, Departments of Public Health, Departments of Human Services, professionals from child care resource and referral agencies, military personnel responsible for child safety, and other professional agencies and groups who want to learn more about children’s play areas.
  • Assessed 64 child care and school-age sites for the U.S. Air Force to review surface compliance, surface maintenance, and playground safety.
  • Provided training in all 50 states with each state’s department of child care licensing, departments of education, and departments of health and human services.
  • The Iowa Legislature supported the Iowa Safe Surfacing Initiative to provide safe outdoor education environments for elementary schools, childcare centers, head starts, and state parks in the state of Iowa by protecting Iowa children from unintentional playground injuries, contributing to a safer infrastructure, educating programs serving children, and helping reduce the tire waste problem.
  • “Play Smart, Play Safe” curriculum was distributed through Weekly Reader to over one million kindergartners in more than 46,000 schools in 2005.
  • Continues to provide training to state agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Provides training and educational materials to many states' Departments of Public Health, Child Care Licensing Programs, local school districts, Department of Education, local youth-serving organizations, and Head Start.
  • Media interviews on ABC’s "Good Morning America," CBS’s "Early Edition," NBC’s "Today Show," US News, New York Times, and several other state and local affiliates.