Prevention of Play Desert in Communities
- Sep 22, 2020
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Try to think of the time when you used to be a child. Did you have a playground or a park near your house? Was it possible for you to walk to the park with your siblings or parents, to engage in meaningful playing outdoors?
Nowadays, many American children do not enjoy the luxury of having a safe playground in their neighborhood. It is difficult to imagine that the number of play opportunities for children is very less throughout the country. A 'Play Desert' is a community in which playgrounds are almost non-existent. This is a term that municipal leader and urban planners use to refer to such communities.
In other words, play deserts are residential areas that have a lot of children. However, there are no playgrounds for children at a walking distance. A recreational desert, on the other hand, occurs in larger urban areas in which there is limited space for playgrounds. Furthermore, maintaining a safe playground in such a place is often very expensive. As a result of this, it is prevalent to see parks that are protected, but they have no useful playground equipment present.
Due to this reason, there are several consequences that children have to face in terms of their wellness and health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in every five American children live within half a mile of a publicly accessible park. At the same time, American cities usually have no more than 8% of the land allocated to recreational activities. Because childhood obesity is currently on the rise, these statistics are indeed a matter of concern!
What are the factors that result in play deserts?
Several factors can result in a play desert. These factors include:
Physical: There are no new spaces for the development of playgrounds for children's recreational mark. At the same time, there are several availability or cost limitations also.
Access: The school playgrounds or parks present several physical obstacles that make them inaccessible for children or adults with mobility issues. This also includes grasses and playgrounds that do not follow ADA standards.
Social: The playgrounds or parks exist in the parts of the city that are not considered very safe for children, and families to hangout.
What is the impact on the neighborhood?
There are several sociological and significant health results in areas where there are no commercial playgrounds. When an outdoor playing space gets removed, children often start relying on rather sedentary activities. These activities include gaming and spending more time alone with their tablets. Because children spent a lot of time seated, they face several health concerns and other issues such as obesity.
It is important to note that only children do not need mobility. Instead, adults also have to keep moving to stay healthy. Due to a lack of parks, the movement of adults is also limited. This is a matter of significant concern!