FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2010) —
There is no easy way to say this: play is in peril. Play is quickly disappearing from the lives of children across the United States. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any other generation and instead spend an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. Lack of play is directly linked to increased childhood obesity—one of the main issues facing younger generations today. Last week the White House Childhood Obesity Task Force issued a report with recommendations on how to “solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.” Physical activity and play—especially outdoor play—were cited as key elements in the fight against obesity.
“Play is a fundamental need for healthy children and communities. It’s unthinkable to let play perish, and we applaud this administration for recognizing the importance of play as a major factor to reduce serious problems like childhood obesity,” said Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM! “It’s critical that individuals, companies and civic leaders come together to plan ahead and build suitable play spaces for children within their neighborhoods. Play is inherently active and is a long-term, preventative measure for obesity. We want to help restore a culture of play so that playing—and being active—is a natural part of our children's daily lives.”
The impact of the play deficit on our children and future generations is unacceptable. In addition to contributing to obesity, lack of play is linked to classroom behavior problems, including violence, emotional outbursts and the inability to properly interact with others. Lack of play is also linked to a decrease in creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills and resiliency. The task force report addresses the importance of play by emphasizing the need for the following:
KaBOOM!, (kaboom.org) the national non-profit organization dedicated to saving play, is catalyzing a national movement to save children’s right to play. “Organizations like KaBOOM! are necessary not just to the health of our children, but to the health of the entire nation,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a speech at a KaBOOM! playground build in San Francisco, CA. June 2009.
For the past 14 years, KaBOOM! has been engaging communities; creating dialogue; and providing tools, training and resources in an effort to save play. KaBOOM! is working to solve the problem and restore a culture of play by:
1. Constructing innovative, kid-inspired playspaces, using a community-build model that improves the well-being of children as well as the neighborhoods in which they live.
2. Using the internet to scale their efforts, sharing the knowledge and tools needed for anyone to find, improve and build playgrounds on their own.
3. Building a broad movement driven by research, analysis, policy and community engagement.
Jennifer Hwang, firstname.lastname@example.org , 415.420.3259
Dana Young, email@example.com, 415.378.7998
 Journal of Community Health, 2008
 Richard Louv – Last Child in the Woods
 Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005
[4, 5] American Academy of Pediatrics, 2007
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. 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 and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters, visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.