Media Tip Sheet: Bucknell’s April Story Ideas

LEWISBURG, Pa. — These are Bucknell University story ideas that may interest you in April.

PLAYGROUND PRECAUTIONS — As COVID-19 vaccinations increase and the weather warms, expect more public playgrounds to open. Professor Eric Kennedy, biomedical engineering, who also serves as director of injury prevention for the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), offers these tips in advance of U.S. National Playground Safety Week April 26-30:

  • Supervision for safe play is always critically important. “Each year, more than 200,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency departments for playground-related injuries. Playgrounds are the leading location for recreationally induced injuries for children aged 1 to 10,” Kennedy says. “It is recommended that parents and caregivers allow children to run, play and enjoy the playground, but monitor our children’s activities to potentially redirect from unsafe activities.”
  • As many children may have had an effective two-year break from playgrounds, it’s important to remember that their favorite pieces of equipment from the last visit may not be appropriate any longer. “Age separation has been an effective mitigator in playground injuries, so pay attention to posted suggestions for appropriate age ranges in play areas,” he says.
  • Falls are the most frequent cause of serious playground injuries. “Visitors should observe the condition and maintenance of playground surfacing and let the playground owners know if significant erosion or degradation has been observed,” Kennedy says. “It’s possible that some maintenance issues have developed that have gone unreported or unnoticed.”
  • As we all enjoy the sun and rising temperatures, don’t forget some of the environmental factors that influence our long-term health and play. “Many adult skin cancers are traced to sun exposure as a child, and playgrounds may lack significant shade for both sun exposure protection and temperature management,” he says. “Pay attention to surface temperatures, particularly for smaller children, and pack sunscreen and water along with the sanitizer.”
  • Sterility of equipment is important, but fortunately we have seen that surface transmission rates are thought to be considerably lower than person-to-person respiratory/airborne spread. “It’s still important to maintain social distancing from those whom the children are not regularly exposed to, and/or masking is effective to help prevent airborne spread,” says Kennedy. “Per CDC and EPA guidelines, it has not proven to be practical, environmentally safe, or an appropriate use of resources for visitors to attempt to disinfect surfaces of a playground. Instead, practice frequent hand-sanitation, at least at the beginning and end of the play session.”

CONTACT: Kennedy, 570-577-1405, 570-939-9581 (c), eric.kennedy@bucknell.edu

CLASSING UP COMMUNITY SERVICE — A required course for management majors, MGMT 101 is more than an introductory management course in Bucknell’s Freeman College of Management. Service is its centerpiece, and hundreds of local organizations have benefitted from the class since it was created 41 years ago. Groups of students — four per semester — create and manage companies that benefit their client service projects. This year’s companies will be presenting operating plans via Zoom to the MGMT 101 board on Thursday, April 1. The companies and their client service projects include “Always Herd,” which will develop week-long mental health awareness activities and whole body wellness with Mental Health America under the slogan “Healthy Mind. Healthy Body. Healthy Herd”; “Bison on the Bus,” which will provide online tutoring to middle school students and panel discussions on college-related topics for high school students and their parents in the Lewisburg Area School District; “Cozy Kids Co.,” which will make fleece-knot blankets and hold a virtual game night for Kelsey’s Dream and Camp Dost summer camp for pediatric cancer patients; and “Deeds For Seniors’ Needs,” which will boost morale of RiverWoods Senior Living Center residents by doing virtual activities for the residents and organizing a senior prom. Companies will have until April 21 to complete their planned activities laid out in their operating plans. CONTACT: Terry Burke, MGMT 101 coordinator, 267-760-3332, terrence.burke@bucknell.edu

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CONTACT: Mike Ferlazzo, 570-577-3212, 570-238-6266 (c), mike.ferlazzo@bucknell.edu

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