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National Playground Safety Week keeps kids safe

April 21, 2014

Donna Thompson, director, National Program for Playground Safety, 319-273-7134,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- According to the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), more than 200,000 children are injured on America's playgrounds each year. In an effort to focus on the safety of all children on the playground, the NPPS, housed at the University of Northern Iowa, will celebrate National Playground Safety Week from Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. In addition to promoting their regular initiatives and training programs, the week will also celebrate the addition of three new certification courses that have been made possible through a $500,000, two-year contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The new certifications include Early Childhood Outdoor Play Inspector, Playground Inspection Course for Elementary Schools and Youth/Community Programs, and Certified Supervisor for Outdoor Environments. They are designed for personnel in the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps and will safeguard the children of military families by training and certifying playground safety personnel.

The winners of the Ahrens Playground Safety Advocate of the Year Award and the John Preston Award will also be announced during the week. These awards honor an individual and a group that have made outstanding efforts to make playgrounds safe for children.

For more information, visit or contact Donna Thompson, director of NPPS, at 319-273-7134 or