THE STRYKER CHALLENGE TEES OFF FOR PLAYGROUND SAFETY <br>Stryker Orthopaedics, Legendary Golfer Jack Nicklaus and The National Program for Playground Safety Launch Charity Golf Tournament to Promote Playground Safety<br>

February 23, 2005

Playground safety: Donna Thompson, director, National Program for Playground Safety, (319) 273-2416,
Stryker Challenge/Stryker Orthopaedics: Deanna Zemke Euro RSCG Magnet 212-367-6840

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- February 24, 2005 -- Each year, serious playground injuries send more than 200,000 children to seek emergency room assistance and contribute to more than a dozen deaths, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To help raise awareness of this issue and fund critical playground safety improvements, Stryker Orthopaedics (NYSE: SYK) along with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, today announced the launch of The Stryker Challenge, a competitive charity golf tournament open to the general public. Participants are invited to register online at

Funds raised by The Stryker Challenge will be utilized by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) to research safer playground surfacing and resurface existing playgrounds to provide safer play environments for America's children.

'I'm delighted that Stryker has undertaken this important effort and I am proud to be a part of the effort to bring attention to this issue,' said Mr. Nicklaus, who will serve as honorary chairman for the tournament and host the National Final at his home course ï¾– The Bear's Club in West Palm Beach, Florida in October 2005. 'Children need to get outside and exercise, but they need to be able to do it in safe surroundings. I'm a big believer in starting healthy habits early because doing so means they are more likely to stay with you for the rest of your life.'

Beginning this spring, The Stryker Challenge will be held in 11 cities across the country including Miami, Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Columbus, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, with the first tournament being held at Miami's Doral Golf Course on April 26. Winners from each local event will advance to the regional competition.

In 2004, the NPPS visited more than 3,000 playgrounds and gave the U.S. a grade of C+ on safety standards. Statistics indicate that nearly 70 percent of all playground injuries are related to falls, and consequently, an important aspect of reducing playground injuries is to provide cushioned surfaces beneath and around equipment at depths appropriate to equipment height.

'Falls to the surface are the leading cause of injuries on playgrounds,' said Dr. Donna Thompson, executive director of NPPS. 'Approximately 106,000 of all public playground injuries and several deaths each year are related to such falls. Shock absorbing surfaces, however, can slow the momentum of a falling child's body or head and reduce the risk of traumatic, life-threatening injuries.'

The Stryker Challenge will help the NPPS, a nonprofit organization created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to advocate for playground safety and work with local officials to identify potential sites for resurfacing. In addition, officials from selected cities will receive training about playground safety and a site assessment at select playgrounds will take place to ensure that existing structures meet CPSC safety guidelines. Once the site is assessed, NPPS will work with the local community to resurface each playground appropriately.

'Through the Stryker challenge, we are committed to making a substantive difference in raising safety standards at playgrounds in communities across the U.S.,' said Ned Lipes, executive vice president of Stryker Corp. and general chairman of the Stryker Challenge.

Stryker and NPPS hope to create a groundswell of support for playground safety and will be engaging local sponsors in each city to help increase awareness of this important issue. Parents or officials looking for literature on ways to improve safety at playgrounds in their local communities should visit the Web site. Tips include:

Stryker and NPPS hope to create a groundswell of support for playground safety and will be engaging local sponsors in each city to help increase awareness of this important issue. Parents or officials looking for literature on ways to improve safety at playgrounds in their local communities should visit the Web site. Some tips include:

1. Carefully supervise children on the playground to make sure they are safe.

2. Guide children to play on age-appropriate equipment (equipment for ages 2-5 or 5-12).

3. Avoid equipment over the height of 6 feet for preschoolers and 8 feet for school-age children.

4. Make sure loose-fill surfaces around the playground equipment have at least 12 inches of cushioned material.

5. Check that protective surfacing extends at least 6 feet in all direction from play equipment.

6. Examine play equipment for dangerous hardware like protruding bolts and loose fasteners.

7. Make sure spaces that could trap children's heads, such as openings in guardrails, are less than 3.5 inches or greater than 9 inches.

8. Check for sharp points or edges on equipment.

9. Look out for tripping hazards like exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, and rocks.

10. Be a good neighbor; leave the area as you found it.

For more information on The Stryker Challenge, visit

About the National Program for Playground Safety

In 1995, the University of Northern Iowa established the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Since that time, NPPS has become the premier non-profit organization dealing with playground safety information in the United States. Since its beginning in October 1995, NPPS has taken an active part in injury prevention. For more information, visit

About Stryker Orthopaedics

Stryker Orthopaedics offers an extensive orthopaedic product portfolio including hip, knee and upper extremity reconstructive devices, bone cement, trauma implants and bone substitutes. For more information about Stryker Orthopaedics, visit

About Stryker Corporation

Stryker Corporation develops, manufactures and markets specialty surgical and medical products worldwide, including reconstructive implants, spinal, trauma and craniomaxillofacial systems, the bone growth factor osteogenic protein-1, powered surgical instruments, endoscopic and surgical navigation systems and patient care and handling equipment, and provides outpatient physical therapy services in the United States. For more information visit