244497 Promoting healthy minds and bodies through safer playgrounds: A comprehensive approach using MAP-IT

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tanya J. Benitez, MSW , School of Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Casey Daniel, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Brian F. Geiger, EdD, FAAHE , College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Department of Human Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Rodney Joseph, MA , Department of Health Behavior, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Background: According to the National Program for Playground Safety, approximately 218,000 children are treated in emergency rooms yearly for playground-related injuries. Children from families of low socioeconomic status demonstrate significantly higher rates of playground injury due to playing on unsafe or ill-repaired equipment. Purpose: To describe a collaborative effort for promoting playground safety and injury prevention in low-income minority communities using MAP-IT, a community planning framework promoted by USDHHS. Methods: Researchers collaborated with a community action agency and three Head Start centers in low-income communities. An assessment of community needs and resources was conducted prior to developing a plan for promoting playground safety. Community members were educated on the importance of playground safety, learned to identify playground hazards through participation in assessments of Head Start playgrounds, and were provided with skills and resources to advocate for safer community play areas. The project was delivered in both English and Spanish languages. Results: Playground safety hazards and related standards from The Americans with Disabilities Act were identified at the Head Start playgrounds. Researchers provided the agency with recommendations for repairs and methods to continue playground safety education in the community. Additionally, community members committed to assess the safety of a public playground in their community within the following six months. Conclusion: MAP-IT provided a useful framework for promoting playground safety and injury prevention in low-income communities. This project demonstrates an example of a collaborative community effort to provide safe environments for children to play and develop healthy minds and bodies.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
1.Define the five sections of MAP-IT planning framework promoted by USDHHS. 2.Describe how MAP-IT strategy was applied to developing a comprehensive community playground safety program. 3.Explain the purpose of using a community planning framework for developing a health education/promotion program.

Keywords: Community Health Planning, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked extensively with low-income and minority populations as a professional Social Worker. I have also completed doctoral courses in health program planning, administration, and evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.