Playgrounds are vital to the health and resilience of kids and communities. However, due to necessary COVID-19 public health measures, playgrounds across the United States closed this spring.
KABOOM! stands in full solidarity with these decisions for the safety and well-being of kids and their families. As playgrounds across the country reopen, it is paramount that health and safety remain the priority, and the strategies to reopen playgrounds be grounded in equity.
We must ensure that communities facing decades of disinvestment have access to the resources to make playgrounds open and accessible to kids and communities again.
To ensure that all kids — regardless of race, ethnicity, income and zip code — can return to the playground safely, playground reopening strategies must address inequities that exist by prioritizing financial and staff support resources. The need for an equity-based approach is heightened by the disproportionate impact of playground closures on kids living in under-resourced communities of color.
Many kids living in these disinvested neighborhoods already have fewer recreation options than kids who may have been less impacted by these closures — for example, kids with outdoor playspaces in yards, or close access to parks and trails.
As public health authorities determine when playgrounds can reopen, the question is how to do so safely while emphasizing public health goals. To help answer this, the KABOOM! Playground Reopening Taskforce developed an actionable resource for playground owner/operators as they plan for reopening.
Members of the KABOOM! Playground Reopening Taskforce include experts in public health, community development, parks and recreation and facilities experts. The guidance accounts for a thorough review of the latest guidelines on COVID-19 published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
This guidance also complements and builds from existing guidance by the CDC, and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) on playground cleaning and maintenance that playground owners and operators should consult and integrate as appropriate for their contexts.
KABOOM! recognizes that individual playground users will make their own determinations about whether to visit the playground. For playground owner/operators, we outline the following suggested guidelines with supporting resources to help prepare their spaces for kids and adults to play safely.
Watch a recording of the live discussion introducing the guidance with representatives from KABOOM!, Outdoors Alliance for Kids, NRPA, and more. Learn more about how to maintain public health and safety when reopening playspaces.
Back to top