Hot Stuff at Play Areas

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback


Even as hot as it is people still go outside whether to work or play. And there are lots of things outside that can get really hot on a day when temps race into the 100's, hot enough to burn you.

Things like metal and plastic coated playground equipment and car interior parts heat up really quick. For instance we monitored a car in our parking lot for a half hour just to see how quick it would heat up inside after leaving a window open for about 45 minutes.

Using my new laser thermal thermometer I scanned around our parking lot to see how warm things were at ten thirty in the morning. A bed liner was about 130 degrees, a black car hood about 160, a steering wheel about 165.

Toasty....down off 141 Phillip Smith was sweating out a few hoops. While he shot I checked out the temp on a metal merry go round. Even that early it was around 130 degrees...ouch..Then Phillip and I took a look at his asphalt basketball court.  It checked in at about 140 degrees.

I asked Phillip if this was a normal time to play for him.

"I tend to come out in the evening but since no body is here right now I'm just practicing by myself."

If the average safe temperature for a bathtub is a 110. Could you get burned off a merry go round?

Medic One Education Director Shawn Perrin said anything is possible.

"Depends on exposure and how much of your body area has been exposed. That's how they rate the severity of a burn is the degree of a burn and the body surface combined."

With the asphalt court at about 140 degrees at ten in the morning Phillip made a wise decision to head back into the air conditioning.

Out at Craighead forest I looked hard at plastic slides on the, really too hot to slide on. The average temp on the plastic was about 165 under no shade.

At the Rotary park equipment, lots of kids were playing in the heat and at the waterpark. But it is definitely not a bare foot area.

You got to watch out for surfaces too like the black coated ramp leading on to the  playground equipment. It tested out at about 154 degrees.

Hot enough to scorch tender toes.

Perrin, "Probably what they are going to see is superficial, what we used to call a 1st degree burn. Which is some redness and pain."

Sarah Hooker and her mom Pam were running out on the rubber ground cover. I asked Pam if  she knew how hot the surface was?

"I thought it was about a hundred degrees when I felt it but I was surprised to find out it was a lot hotter than that. 179 degrees.

Ouch, would you let Sarah walk in bare feet on that?

Hooker, "No way, I'm surprised it's not melting my flip flops."

With this extreme heat you need to make sure to wear light colored clothing, drink plenty of fluids and exercise caution around hot surfaces especially with little kids.

©2009 KAIT
ll rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.