A memorandum, more commonly known as a memo, is a short message or record used for internal communication in a business. Once the primary form of internal written communication, memorandums have declined in use since the introduction of email and other forms of electronic messaging; however, being able to write clear memos certainly can serve you well in writing internal business emails, as they often serve the same purpose.
The purpose of this memo is to summarize a review of the website developed by the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) – an organization that provides training and recommendations to adults to prevent children’s injuries while playing at the playgrounds.
The NPPS website informs that over 200,000 children are injured in American playgrounds every year. The organization’s research informs that, from 2001 to 2008 equipment caused 51% of injuries at the public playground and 19% on the home playground; 67% of injuries involved falls and equipment failure. The research also informs that, in the same period, 40 deaths were associated with the playground equipment. The website informs that America’s playgrounds received a C+ grade in the latest NPPS survey.
Overview of the Website
The NPPS website can be characterized as a proactive informative technical document. The developers paid scrupulous attention to provide both general and technical information about how to increase the safety of children’s playgrounds. The site addresses the parents, teachers, playground personnel, equipment manufacturers, playground developers, caretakers of children, and others who care about children; it explains and extends assistance in solving safety-related problems. The site is developed in five different sections: “Standards,” “Research,” “Training,” “Products and Services,” and “S.A.F.E.” The “Standards” section outlines the ASTM and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requirement towards the playground equipment, as well as State Regulations regarding playground safety. The “Training” section offers readers a solution to playground safety-related problems. This section begins with the sentence “Let us teach you about playground safety . . .” which clearly defines the organization’s noble goal. The “Training” section further emphasizes that the NPPS can fulfill its mission in providing a safe environment in the children’s playgrounds only through the training of adults.
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The organization offers various online training programs as well as in-house training. The courses are tailored to provide certified inspectors for playgrounds. The “Products and Service” section of the website demonstrates a wide variety of educational material and assessment kits to teach how to organize and maintain safety in children’s playgrounds. The entire website is embedded with videos and other pictorial materials that are useful for proactive safety teaching both parents and their children. The video information can also be useful for the maintenance personnel and supervisors of the playground. The organization put a great effort into organizing the “S.A.F.E” sections of the site. As a matter of the fact, this section can be considered the heart of the entire concept that reveals why this organization was formed, why it is needed, and how it can help equipment manufacturers, parents, and other caretakers at the national, state, and local levels to improve the safety of the children playgrounds.
Analysis of the Website
The structure of the website is very appropriate, which provides descriptive, comparative, and statistical information effectively explaining the needs of the establishment of an organization like NPPS in society. Everyone knows that the children's playgrounds include a wide variety of equipment, which has to be manufactured using safety standards derived by the reputed organizations. In this regard, the site provides ASTM and CPSC requirements for manufacturing equipment. The inclusion of different states’ regulations in this section concerning the safety of the playgrounds demonstrates that the legislative body is not indifferent to this issue. The authors are aware that voicing concerns over the children’s playgrounds’ safety issues are not enough until the safety methods are proposed. The NPPS has offered the solution, which is described in the “Training” and “Product and Services” sections of the website.
The training is carefully designed to educate the ordinary public, inspectors, and supervisors of playgrounds. The information on the website clearly shows that the safety measures that are proposed on the website are based on the organization’s research. For example, the “Research” section mentions that fall are one of the sources of injury; the website repeatedly urges both in writing and video to pay attention to how to build the playground’s surface, so falls do not cause injury to children. It is mentioned above that the “S.A.F.E.” section is the heart of the entire website. This section, truly like a human heart, sucks the core concept of playground safety and spreads it through the entire population which is interested in creating and maintaining safe playgrounds throughout the nation, be it in schools, entertainment parks, or neighborhoods. The use of the word “safe” as an abbreviation for S.A.F.E to describe supervision, age-appropriate design, fall-surfacing design, and equipment maintenance being the core issues of the playground safety demonstrates high analytical skills of the NPSS management body. This section is divided into several subsections: framework at national, state, and local levels and a vivid description of what is S.A.F.E and how to implement it. Creation of this section and, generally speaking, the entire website, the NPPS describes as “the purpose of the National Action Plan for the Prevention of Playground Injuries is to provide a blueprint for playground safety” (Find the Company, n.d.). Truly speaking, the website presents the roadmap in developing safe playgrounds for American children.
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The NPPS legally functions as a private company, which is categorized under Social Service and Welfare Organizations of the USA (Manta, n.d.). Its legal address is the location of the University of Northern Iowa (Manta, n.d.). In 1995, the NPPS was established with funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This funding kept the organization alive for ten years; however, later it became self-sustaining through revenue generation based on grants, sales of educational materials, and training services. The organization is the nation’s premier nonprofit entity that focuses on research, education, and training in the development of safe playgrounds for children. The Executive Director of the organization is Dr. Donna Thompson; Operations and Educations Directors respectively are Dr. Heather Olson and Dr. Susan Hudson. All three executives are the faculty members of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services, College of Education of the University of Northern Iowa. The organization has nine employees at a single location and has an estimated annual revenue of $250,000 (Find the Company, n.d.).
Undoubtedly, the authors of the website deserve deep appreciation for their noteworthy effort in educating the general public about the importance of the safety of playgrounds. The above review has summarized and provided an analysis of the website. However, it is recommended to insert a separate page in the website describing the organization, their people, and contact person of the organization. Among much useful information, the website has provided a link to Public Playground Safety Handbook. The link allows downloading the handbook in English and Spanish languages. The book contains useful information related to safety issues. It is recommended to insert some information of this handbook in the website and provide a bright and distinguishable link to the entire book; the current link is not easily distinguishable. The authors of the website should recognize that large numbers of their audience are Hispanic, and it will be worthwhile to insert one page of welcome note in the Spanish language.
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