Playgrounds heat up to dangerous temps in summer sun

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - With temperatures in the triple digits, there is no doubt that it is hot outside and the playground is no exception.

Playground surfaces can become very hot during hot weather.  Slides and metal rising to temperatures as high as 175 degrees have the capacity to burn a child's skin, according to Dr. Joe Sasin from University Medical Center. Surfaces can reach temperatures of over 200 degrees depending on the angle of the sun, lack of wind and humidity.

Metal and plastic slide surfaces can get dangerously hot, and several children across the country have been burned this summer when they touched a hot surface at the playground, Dr. Sasin said.  Severe burns are painful and may lead to blisters and infection.

4-year-old Aden Martin has one word for how the playground feels.

"Hot," he said.

But it's more than just the temperature outside. The playground itself can sizzle in the summer sun.

"Biggest issue is going to be especially on metal slides, metal slides get very, very hot," said UMC's Dr. Joe Sasin.

But the plastic is hot to the touch, too, so we used a infrared thermometer to see just how hot the surface of the playground is. We tested on one, plastic slide at 12pm and it was 175 degrees. At 1 PM, another red slide see saw was at 130 degrees and the Mulch tested at 158 degrees.

"You have to be careful, as a parent if its uncomfortable for you its going to be way to hot for your kids," Dr. Sasin said.

"Put your hand on it and test it before setting a child on the slide,  and remember as adults our tolerance is much higher than a child's," Dr. Sasin explained.

Exposure to temperatures over 120 degrees can cause severe burns so just remember to check the equipment before letting children play.

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