Beware of hot playground equipment in the summertime heat of the Ozarks

Playground equipment can super heat in the summer
Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In the hot summer months, it is natural for kids to want to play outside, and what better place to do that than the playground.

While it is usually perfectly safe to go down the slide or climb the monkey bars, when the sun is beating down on playground equipment, it can heat to around 130 degrees and cause serious burns. The Battlefield Fire Protection District notes children don’t have the same reaction times that we do as adults. It can lag by a second or two, enough time for a burn to present itself. They urge parents to test out playground equipment with the back of their hands before letting their kids go and play. They also ask parents to remember that metal and plastic equipment can cause burns.

“it’s really important just to take a few moments, don’t assume just because it’s plastic that it’s not going to be hot, reach over [with the] back of your hand, touch the plastic surface and make sure that it’s comfortable to the touch,” said Battlefield Shane Anderson, the Division Chief of Support Services for the Battlefield Fire Protection District.

He also noted that it doesn’t have to be a super sunny hot day for these injuries to occur. He said cases of 75-degree weather where the equipment in direct sunlight got hot enough to cause “serious burns.”

Chief Anderson recommends that parents try to find playgrounds with a good amount of shade cover and keep an eye on children while on these jungle gyms.

If there is a bad burn incident, stay away from ice and ice water, as this can worsen the burn. Keep the injury as clean as possible and immediately see a doctor if needed.

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