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Hot Playground Equipment Can Burn Your Kids!

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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.

child on a slide

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?


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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Ken Martin June 6, 2010, 4:16 AM

Inflatable slides should never be set up facing the sun. They should be set up facing the opposite direction. In addition an 18 month old is entirely to young to be on an inflatable slide. The minimum age on inflatables is three years old.

Ken Martin
Amusement Ride Safety Consultant

Wendi June 6, 2010, 7:55 AM

There is a certian amount of common sense that comes with parenting and this falls in that area. If you know it is really hot out then you should not touch anything that is sitting in the sun. Why would you want your child out in the heat of the day anyway?? I really believe that you should just stop and think before you do things with your kids.

Sara June 6, 2010, 10:09 AM

Lets just ban playgrounds. Kids should only play on flat soft surfaces while wearing helmets and knee pads, preferably only with kids that they already know and get along with because otherwise they might get hurt.

Queen Bee June 6, 2010, 10:28 AM

When I was little my grandma used to bring diapers for us to sit on when we went down the slide. We lived in a small town so the one playground we had was nothing BUT hot “old school” metal slides. =)

anonymous June 6, 2010, 8:34 PM

Really? People have to be told this?

Sarah June 8, 2010, 12:47 PM

Isn’t this common sense? The sun makes things hot. Which means the playground equipment could be hot. Which could potentially mean burns or your child being uncomfortable. Why would you get outraged at the city about it? The city can’t shut off the sun so our children can live in perfect safe harmony!


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