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Hot playgrounds can burn your child

Posted at 4:49 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 10:06:40-04

We all know how hot it can get in South Texas. But are we aware how hot it can get at the playgrounds that we bring our children to?

Captain Marco Vasquez, of the Corpus Christi Fire Department says, "normal day hours they can get up to 100-110F, if you were to check it out usually around 110F that’s a little uncomfortable to the touch, but when it starts getting to the 120-130F,  that’s when thermal burns or contact burns become an issue."

Although, those hard metal slides may not be as popular at playgrounds, the rubber and plastic materials can get just as hot to cause burns. 

According, to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2001 and 2008 there were nearly 30 burn incidents on playgrounds.Ten of those incidents were from plastic, rubber or other non-metal surfaces, while 7 were from metal equipment. 

KRIS 6 News decided to check out a couple playgrounds across town to see how that equipment can get in the day hours. At Waters Edge park, the slides got up to 120F, and at the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve park, the rubber floor surface got up to 130F. Even the bars to climb up got to a whopping 95F.

Mom of four, Andrea Tucker, says "parents need to touch it first before they put their kid on there and just make sure that if it’s too hot for us it’s definitely too hot for our babies."

Tucker is right, a child’s skin is more susceptible to burns because it is thinner and more delicate.

Experts recommend taking your child to play during cooler hours of the day, such as mornings or later in the evening.

  • Watch for uncoated metal equipment
  • Watch for swings and slides that children may sit on
  • Make sure children wear appropriate clothing
  • Be aware of weather conditions
  • Supervise children

If at any times you suspect your child may have a burn, Capt. Vasquez says, "a lot of times you’ll notice redness in the skin, if it’s a severe burn the skin will actually start to pull away a little bit, you’ll Start to see a little bit of whiteness in color."

Capt. Vasquez says cool water will soothe the burn for a while and treat the burn almost like a cut. You should use antiseptic ointment and a band-aid before you take your child to the doctor for medical attention.

For more information on hot playground safety, Playground Burn Fact Sheet.