Orthopedic surgeons create a safe, accessible playground for a Kissimmee, Fla., neighborhood.
More than 200 volunteers from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the City of Kissimmee, Fla., and Central Avenue Elementary School teamed up with organizers from KaBOOM! and Kissimmee residents on March 1 to build a new community playground at the school.
As part of the construction, volunteers assembled the playground from start to finish in less than six hours. They mixed and poured thousands of pounds of concrete and moved enough safety surfacing to cover more than nine NBA-sized basketball courts.
The playground in Kissimmee is the 17th built by AAOS and KaBOOM! The event enables orthopedic surgeons to give back to society by improving the safety of children's active play at school and in the community.
The AAOS has sponsored a one-day volunteer build since 2000 to kick off its annual meeting. Over the last 16 years, the Academy has built safe, accessible playgrounds in neighborhoods in Las Vegas, Nev.; San Diego, Calif.; New Orleans, La.; Chicago, Ill.; and San Francisco, Calif. The Kissimmee playground is the second constructed in the Orlando, Fla., area.
The playground was designed in December (2015) by Central Avenue Elementary School children. It features a Trippple Racer Slide, Ribbon Climber, and Babble-On.
Building these playgrounds can help improve kids' health. Each year, more than 210,000 U.S. children sustain a playground injury that requires medical attention. A safe, accessible playground with ramps, guardrails and uniform surfacing can help minimize fall-related injuries, the AAOS contends.
Playgrounds are more than a leisure time activity. Active play can help expand the mind, build muscle and foster friendships. Play is central to a child’s ability to grow into a productive adult, the AAOS notes.