This report provides a synopsis of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) funded study entitled, Exploring Children’s Lived Experiences of Play Spaces through Participatory Photo Mapping. This study was completed as part of the larger project, “Active and Safe: Injury Prevention Initiative Tier 2 (C) Playgrounds and Neighbourhood Play Spaces,” funded under the PHAC “Active and Safe” initiative.
The study focused on developing an improved understanding of the safety issues associated with outdoor play spaces (including playgrounds, green spaces, urban areas such as parking lots and vacant lots, and the street) available to socioeconomically disadvantaged children. It emerged from the knowledge that outdoor play is important for children’s social, mental and physical development and health (Boreham & Riddoch, 2001), yet also presents risks for injury. An estimated 2,500 children age 14 years and younger are hospitalized every year in Canada for serious injuries that take place on playgrounds and other play spaces (Safe Kids Canada, 2006).