Thursday July 17, 2014
Signs reading “Children at Play! Thank You for Not Smoking.” have been posted at five Metro Parks swimming pools and ten playgrounds and spraygrounds.
Pools include those at Algonquin Park, Mary T. Meagher, Nelson Hornback Park, the Norton Pool at Camp Taylor Park and Sun Valley Park. Playgrounds and spraygrounds include those at Breslin, Crescent Hill, LaPorte, Long Run, McNeely, Petersburg, Riverview, Sheppard Square, Vettiner and Wyandotte Parks. Funding for the new signage was provided by a federal smoking prevention and cessation grant through the state of Kentucky.
“Parents, grandparents and caregivers have all told us that they want their children to be able to use our parks, pools and spraygrounds without being exposed to secondhand smoke and burning cigarettes,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Improving the health of our community is one of our top goals.”
In a survey of nearly 1,100 people conducted by Metro Parks and the Department of Public Health and Wellness 81% supported a no smoking policy in parks, playgrounds and spraygrounds.
The new “Children at Play! Thank You for Not Smoking.” signs come in addition to such signs posted last year at spraygrounds in Cherokee, Iroquois and Shawnee Parks.
“Toddlers and young children, whose lungs and circulatory systems are still developing, are especially vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke,” said Public Health and Wellness director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. “There is no safe level of secondhand smoke. Parks, pools, playgrounds and spraygrounds should be about exercise and natural beauty,” she said. “Smoking just doesn’t fit.”
Dr. Nesbitt also encouraged the use of the parks for regular physical activity for adults and children. “Adults and children need regular physical activity to maintain good health,” she said. “What better places to get exercise than in Louisville’s beautiful parks?”
Metro Parks director Mike Heitz also urged teens and adults to take advantage of the many activities offered by Metro Parks. “July is national Parks and Recreation Month,” he said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the full range of activities our parks and community centers have to offer.”