Bacteria, trash common on indoor playgrounds: study

February 25, 2013

Davenport, IA – Indoor playgrounds at restaurants may contain bacteria, broken equipment and trash that pose health and safety risks to children, finds a new study from Kaplan University.

Researchers tested 49 indoor playgrounds in 25 states and found unsafe levels of pathogens in 93.4 percent of play areas. Almost 90 percent of the playgrounds contained trash or debris, and more than 85 percent had broken equipment, according to a Kaplan press release. Results were similar in rural and urban areas, as well as fast-food and family-style restaurants.

Researchers noted that preschool and elementary school children may be at higher risk because of their underdeveloped immune system and tendency to crawl and put objects in their mouth.

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Psychological Association’s National Conference in July.