5th grade students study recess safety

Posted at 5:01 PM, Apr 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-27 00:54:25-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A group of fifth grade students researched recess injuries and how to avoid them.

Whittier Elementary fifth graders teamed up with the Utah Dept. of Health to determine the most common recess activities that lead to injury; they say falls are one of the leading causes.

"With playing on the bars and running being two of the most common activities when a fall or an injury occurs," said Rhetta McLff with UDOH.

More than 2,300 Utah children are injured on public school playgrounds, and a 30-year study has found that 70 percent of school injuries happen on the playground. But they say most injuries are preventable.

Whittier Elementary has taken precautions to help reduce injuries. Assistant Principal Walter Elliot, known as the 'playground guru' at the school, coordinates times when it's safer for younger and older kids to play.

"The reason they have banned these activities is to keep children safe from harm. I strongly believe our school's recess rules are exactly what they should be," said Darrell Chang, a student.

The study found that 30 percent of students thought recess rules should be changed.