Madyson Gomez, an 18-month-old from Des Moines, Iowa, is recovering from second-degree burns on her hands, stomach and knees. She got them by spending a few moments on a neighborhood slide -- which had reached a temperature of more than 160 degrees, reports CBS. Her mom is outraged that a slide could be so dangerous.
A group of parents in New York have complained that the black mats that are ubiquitous in most city play areas get so hot that they are literally burning children. Reports say the mats can also get up to 160 degrees. Many parents don't even bother visiting playgrounds during the hottest part of the day, because the swing set chains and the slides get way too hot.
One Southern California mom recounts a too-hot-to-touch play area at a Fourth of July carnival: "They had tons of inflatable bouncies and slides," she says. "It was about 100 degrees. We paid $20 for a wristband, and my 3-year-old went down the inflatable slide and began crying in pain. She had red welts all over her legs; she had been burned by the scalding-hot slide. When I asked for a refund, it was denied. Obviously, we left immediately. Getting burned on an inflatable slide was not our idea of a good time!"
Using playgrounds is not without risk, says John Crosby of the National Playground Safety Institute. "When public facilities offer play spaces, there is a huge opportunity for injury no matter what," he says. "[Your child] could be in an open-space park and a tree branch could fall." There is one rule all parents should follow, he adds: "No child should approach a playground without their shoes." Crosby also recommends that during hot summer days, you keep your kids off metal slides entirely.
Although pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson has never treated a child for a burn caused by rubberized playground surfaces, she, too, insists that her children wear shoes at all times at the playground. "I know that there are times when my kids want to take their shoes off, but the surface is just too hot," she says. "Frankly, that is true of sandboxes and light-colored rubberized surfaces, too. Unless there is a canopy of shade at the park, the ground can feel scorching."
Do you think public playgrounds are TOO HOT in the summertime?