LAS VEGAS—Last winter, children from Palabra Viva church put crayons to paper and drew pictures of their dream playground. On Tuesday, March 24, those dreams become reality as hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons and other volunteers attending the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) 2015 Annual Meeting join forces with KaBOOM! and members of the community to bring those designs to life.
Since 2000, the Academy has sponsored a one-day Safe and Accessible Playground Build as a gift to the AAOS Annual Meeting host community. This will be the Academy’s 16th playground build and the second in the Las Vegas area.
“The Safe and Accessible Playground Build is a great way for the Academy to show appreciation to the people of Las Vegas, and contribute to the overall health and well-being of the community,” said David D. Teuscher, MD, incoming president of AAOS. “‘In line with the AAOS Vision of keeping the world in motion through prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions,’ the playground is one way for orthopaedists to encourage all children to safely remain physically active with healthy lifestyles to build strong bones, reducing risk of future bone and joint injuries.”
The playground will cover 2,600 square feet and be built with components for children ages 2 through 12 of different abilities, including two slides, swings, a climber, a series of interactive panels, a “cozy cocoon” designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, and accessible wheelchair ramps.
“With this playground, we are providing kids the opportunity to grow up healthy, which will in turn create healthy families and finally, a healthy community,” said Sunny Chavarria, a special events coordinator with Palabra Viva.
The build will take place at Palabra Viva church, located at 3415 S. Mojave Rd., with an 8:30 a.m. kick-off ceremony. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate build completion will take place at 2:30 p.m.
Each year, more than 200,000 children in the United States sustain a playground injury requiring medical attention. Orthopaedic surgeons treat bone and joint injuries, know first-hand the impact of playground-related accidents, and would rather help prevent injuries than treat them. The Academy is dedicated to creating Safe and Accessible Playgrounds where children—with and without disabilities—can play together safely. This playground will provide children opportunities to play, improve balance, flexibility and strength, and build strong bones for life.
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