HARRISBURG, Pa., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As evidence continues to increase touting the many benefits of free play on playgrounds, the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA), the playground industry's leading playground safety certification organization, today recognized National Playground Safety Week – April 22-26, 2013.
"Playing on the playgrounds is one of the simplest, safest and most meaningful ways for kids to improve not only their physical health, but their emotional, social and cognitive skills as well," said IPEMA President Randy Watermiller. "This week we recognize the many critical advancements that have been made in making playground equipment and surfacing safer and encourage families to prioritize spending time on the playground together."
Having a Ball Promotion
To help build excitement about play and playgrounds, IPEMA and its Voice of Play initiative are sponsoring a contest to win a free shipment of 25 brand-new balls for play on the playground. The ball prize pack was made possible through a generous donation to IPEMA from nationally-known author, motivational speaker and play advocate Kevin Carroll. The prize will be awarded to one random winner helping to spread the word about the importance of play on playgrounds using social media.
"Those of us in the play community continue to work tirelessly to educate and motivate parents and caregivers to consider play a 'must-have' activity for kids and adults," said Tom Norquist, marketing committee chairman, IPEMA. The goal of our 'Having a Ball' promotion is to widen the circle of play advocates and 'play it forward' with the play equipment we received from Kevin Carroll."
In order to enter, participants must be 18 years of age and live in the continental United States. Participants must simply like the Voice of Play Facebook page or follow the Voice of Play on Twitter. Then, they must "share" the Voice of Play's Facebook status, or "retweet" a Voice of Play tweet using the #HavingaBall hashtag one time during the week of April 22 – 26 to be automatically eligible to win. IPEMA and the Voice of Play will choose a winner and will send the shipment of balls the following week.
Playground Safety Tips and Resources
Additionally, IPEMA and the Voice of Play will be sharing research, facts and educational materials for parents and caregivers about helping to increase safety on the playground. Tips and information can be found on the Voice of Play website and Play Cafe blog, and the organization's Facebook page. Tweets surrounding National Playground Safety Week will include the hashtag #SafePlay13 on Twitter.
"We've made tremendous progress in improving playground safety in a relatively short period of time," added Watermiller. "Everything from the safety surfacing and equipment to proper procedures for installation and maintenance – all have had a profoundly positive effect on increasing opportunities for safe play on playgrounds. We encourage parents and caregivers to take an active role in learning more about playground safety."
The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association is a non-profit, membership, trade association that represents and promotes an open market for manufacturers of playground equipment and surfacing. IPEMA represents and serves its members by providing information on key economic and governmental issues affecting the play equipment industry and promotes relationships among related organizations. IPEMA provides third-party product certification services for public play equipment and surfacing in the United States and Canada, ensuring compliance with ASTM and CSA trade standards.
About Voice of Play
IPEMA's Voice of Play initiative promotes the benefits of children's play and playgrounds by providing information and resources to encourage the quality and quantity of children's play and the use of playgrounds. Through resources on the Voice of Play website – www.voiceofplay.com – and a social media outreach effort, the initiative heightens public awareness among key professional and consumer groups, including, parents, children, community groups, school administrators, parks and recreation professionals, playground designers and equipment manufacturers.