Injury Research and Policy SPARK Program :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

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Safe Play Areas for Ross County Kids (SPARK) Project

SPARK Program

Play is a way for children to exercise and learn new skills. However, children need safe play areas where they can challenge themselves and develop physically, mentally, and socially. Every year, thousands of children are treated for playground and play-related farm injuries.

In 2010, the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) established the Safe Play Areas for Ross County Kids (SPARK) Project to focus on injury prevention strategies to reduce playground and play-related farm injuries in Ross County. CIRP is working with partners in Ross County to renovate and improve playgrounds in Chillicothe and to promote safe play and play areas for children on Ross County farms. The SPARK Project is funded by The Central Benefits Health Care Foundation.

SPARK Goals

  • Renovate playgrounds to improve safety.
  • Promote safe play and play areas for children on Ohio farms.
  • Educate community members about the importance of playground safety and safe play on farms.
  • Provide parents with safety tips to prevent injuries to their kids.

Playground Safety Facts

  • More than 200,000 U.S. children are treated annually in hospital emergency departments for playground-related injuries. More than two- thirds of these injuries occur on public playgrounds.
  • Most children who are injured on playgrounds are 2-9 years old. The most common types of playground-related injuries include broken bones, bruises, cuts and sprains.
  • Although there are playground guidelines and standards, not all playgrounds are maintained properly. Injuries can be prevented by checking the condition of the equipment before play.

Farm Safety Facts

  • More than one million children live on farms, and many more visit farms every year.
  • Most farm injuries occur to preschool aged children because they lack coordination and do not understand the risks of their behaviors. In addition, only 3 in 10 farms with young children have an enclosed play area to provide children with a safe place to play.

How Can You Participate in SPARK?

  • Arrange for a SPARK team member to attend meetings or events to talk to community members.
  • Request and distribute educational materials about injury prevention.
  • Set up a time for a SPARK team member to provide an educational session to your organization.

SPARK Project Educational Materials

If you live in Ross County and would like to order copies of the Farm Safety Booklet, please complete the form below and fax or email to Nichole Hodges.

Farm Safety Booklet Order Form

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000