IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2005
hosts playground surfacing dedication with Iowa Legislators
COLESBURG, IOWA - Students
at Edgewood-Colesburg elementary school are playing safer today thanks to a new
surface covering the ground around the playground areas dedicated Tuesday,
October 4 in a ceremony which included comments from state Sen. Tom Hancock and
state Rep. Steve Lukan.
Safer surfacing and safety training provided by a
statewide demonstration project that includes Edgewood Colesburg Elementary
School have resulted in a dramatic decrease in playground injuries and a
significant savings in medical expenses, according to preliminary study results
announced Tuesday Sen. Hancock, D-Epworth.
conducted by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), headquartered
at the University of Northern Iowa, reviewed data from 11 playgrounds installed
in late 2003 and early 2004 through the Iowa Safe Surfacing Initiative. The Colesburg playground, which was approved
for construction in 2004, is one of 16 surfaces to be installed during the
current fiscal year. An additional 19
playgrounds were approved for construction in 2005. Injury statistics will be gathered from those playgrounds under
the ongoing study.
The NPPS gathered
injury data for each playground in the project before and after the new
surfacing was installed and additional safety measures were taken. Fifty-eight fewer injuries were reported.
"Every injury, even a minor one, requires 30
minutes of attention at least $25 in staff time. Yet, the real benefits from the 55-percent reduction in
more-serious injuries is far more substantial," Hancock said. "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."
He added, "The initial findings from the
project's first playgrounds are very impressive. We expected nothing less than that when the Legislature approved
this project during the 2003 session.
I'm looking forward to seeing safety data about Edgewood Colesburg's
playground and other playgrounds in this group next year because we have every
reason to believe the results will be just as positive."
Rep. Steve Lukan
(R-New Vienna) spoke about the importance of training at the schools. "The national program for playground safety
is headquartered right here in our state, at the University of Northern Iowa,"
he said. "So, Iowa really is a national
leader in playground safety."
The goal of the
Iowa Safe Surfacing Initiative (ISSI) is to show that Iowa-based technology can
economically convert waste tires into useful products. The NPPS staff has administered the
initiative since its creation on July 1, 2003.
The General Assembly and Gov. Tom Vilsack have funded the project at
$500,000 each year of the past three years.
The ISSI funded the surface at one of the playgrounds at the school, and
the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) provided interest-free financing
for the remaining resurfaced playgrounds.
The DuroMat Extended Life™ playground tiles for
Edgewood-Colesburg 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 Iowa.