Safe and accessible play area designed by children, built in a day by volunteers
LAS VEGAS - Last winter, children from Palabra Viva church put crayons to paper and drew pictures of their dream playground. On Tuesday, March 24, those dreams become reality as hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons and other volunteers attending the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) 2015 Annual Meeting join forces with KaBOOM! and members of the community to bring those designs to life.
Since 2000, the Academy has sponsored a one-day Safe and Accessible Playground Build as a gift to the AAOS Annual Meeting host community. This will be the Academy’s 16th playground build and the second in the Las Vegas area.
“The Safe and Accessible Playground Build is a great way for the Academy to show appreciation to the people of Las Vegas, and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community,” said David D. Teuscher, MD, incoming president of AAOS. “‘In line with the AAOS Vision of keeping the world in motion through prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions,’ the playground is one way for orthopaedists to encourage all children to safely remain physically active with healthy lifestyles to build strong bones, reducing risk of future bone and joint injuries.”
The playground will cover 2,600 square feet and be built with components for children ages 2 through 12 of different abilities, including two slides, swings, a climber, a series of interactive panels, a “cozy cocoon” designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, and accessible wheelchair ramps.
“With this playground, we are providing kids the opportunity to grow up healthy, which will in turn create healthy families and finally, a healthy community,” said Sunny Chavarria, a special events coordinator with Palabra Viva.
The build will take place at Palabra Viva church, located at 3415 S. Mojave Rd., with an 8:30 a.m. kick-off ceremony. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate build completion will take place at 2:30 p.m.
Each year, more than 200,000 children in the United States sustain a playground injury requiring medical attention. Orthopaedic surgeons treat bone and joint injuries, know first-hand the impact of playground-related accidents, and would rather help prevent injuries than treat them. The Academy is dedicated to creating Safe and Accessible Playgrounds where children—with and without disabilities—can play together safely. This playground will provide children opportunities to play, improve balance, flexibility and strength, and build strong bones for life.
For more information about the Safe and Accessible Playground and a complete list of sponsors, visit aaos.org/playground. Follow build day progress and view day-of Facebook and Twitter status updates and photos using hashtag #WhyIBuild and #playmatters.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
Orthopaedic surgeons restore mobility and reduce pain; they help people get back to work and to independent, productive lives. Visit ANationInMotion.org to read successful orthopaedic stories. For bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and spokesperson interview requests, visit newsroom.aaos.org. Also, follow us on Facebook.com/AAOS1 and Twitter.com/AAOS1. Follow Build Day progress and view day-of social media updates and photos using hashtag #WhyIBuild.
Palabra Viva is a Las Vegas church, providing spiritual, communal, and financial support to over 1500 youth and their families. Serving a majority Hispanic, low-income population, the church provides not only spiritual guidance but everyday support in the form of a food pantry, educational programming, and community-wide events.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.