According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, there were 170,200 playground injuries in 1988 - 70 percent of them on equipment designed for public use. "We need to make sure that playgrounds are safe for our children," says Herta Feely, executive director of the campaign. "By taking a few precautions, we can assure that our playgrounds will be places to have fun, not places to get hurt." Ninety percent of playground injuries are the result of falls onto hard surfaces. Asphalt and concrete surfaces are dangerous. Grass and soil are better but can become compacted and hard. One of the best playing surfaces is a well-maintained layer of shredded mulch 8 to 10 inches deep - but note that these surfaces require replacement and continuous maintenance. The Safe Kids campaign suggests that parents encourage parent/teacher organizations or community groups to take responsibility for maintaining playgrounds properly. For further information about efforts to prevent childhood injury, contact Safe Kids, 111 Michigan Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010-2970, or call 202-939-4993.
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