Play Together. Play Smart. Play S.A.F.E.™

The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS), at the University of Northern Iowa, works for all children to have access to safe environments for play. We want to help educate communities on safe, quality, and fun play areas for children. We advocate at the local, state, and national level to support play, access, and enjoyable playground environments.
NPPS has a rich tradition of successful endeavors which started in 1995 with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention. This funding continued from 1995-2005 and enabled several projects and services to raise awareness on playground safety
Since 2005, NPPS has continued to operate as a national agency to provide resources at the local, state, and national level with a variety of services, research, and advocacy efforts.  We have a strong mission and rich tradition, with an energetic and passionate staff. We are proud of our numerous partnerships and welcome opportunities for research or educational collaborations to improve the safety of children’s play environments.

NPPS's current efforts include investigations to understand child injury rates and epidemiology, field testing, and observations that lead to a broader understanding of environmental and other issues that affect the design of playgrounds and the health of the child. We continue to advocate for data-driven solutions and best practices for playground safety assessment. We are pleased to feature several new videos and training materials which are informed by NPPS's ongoing research and partnerships.

NPPS’s mission is to raise awareness about playground safety and the necessity for appropriate, healthy spaces to support child development and well being.

NPPS works to ensure playground safety and best practices are provided to families, the early childhood professional community, child health and safety advocates, health consultants, and educators. 

NPPS is invested in making a difference with families, early childhood programs, school districts, park and recreation programs, governmental programs, and other youth-serving agencies to have great playgrounds.