Playground equipment can become dangerously hot in the heat

City leaders planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to help show off $65,000 in new...
City leaders planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to help show off $65,000 in new equipment, including swings, a slide and multiple things to climb. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Jun. 2, 2019 at 5:08 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the temperature outside increases, so does the temperature of the equipment on the playground.

WSFA 12 News conducted an experiment at Vaughn Road Park on Sunday at 3 p.m., the hottest time of the day. We used a thermal gun to see how hot some of the equipment in the park was. The hottest piece of equipment was a slide that was in the direct sunlight. The temperature of the slide registered at 144.1 degrees.

According to the American Burn Association, if the surface of a piece of playground equipment is 140 degrees, it can take as little as three seconds to get a second degree burn and five seconds to get a third degree burn.

“If it’s 90 plus degrees outside, it could be 140 degrees on that slide," Troy Calhoon, a firefighter for the Prattville Fire Department, said.

Calhoon said playground equipment is usually hotter than the temperature outside. That’s why Calhoon said it’s important for parents to test the temperature of the equipment before letting their kids play on it, because if it’s hot to you, then it’s even hotter for your children.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child’s skin is more susceptible to burning because it’s thinner and more delicate.

The commission offers the following tips before you head to the park this summer:

  • Test all playground equipment with the back of your hand before letting your child play on it.
  • Dress your child in long pants and shoes for the park.
  • Keep an eye on your child and look for signs of burns or overheating.

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