Direct Summer Sun Can Make Playground Equipment Dangerous

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
Andrea joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in September 2010, one day befo...
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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - The old metal slide in the playground may be gone, replaced by a safer plastic model, but kids are still getting burned playing in the summer heat.

“Unfortunately, most of the popular playground equipment gets really hot. So, it’s brutal for kids to play on in Texas,” said Amanda Blankenship.

The mother of an 18 month old, she checks everything out herself.

“I’m the one going down the slide most of the time. He slides with me,” she said.

A slide sitting in the shade can be 40 degrees cooler than one sitting in direct sunlight. Even moderately warm temperatures can pose a hazard to young children’s sensitive skin.

“The most common scenario is a baby, usually an infant, who can’t turn yet. It’s usually the one who gets burned,” said Dr. Roger Khetan, at Baylor Dallas.

The hotter the surface and the longer the contact, the more likely a child will be burned.

He says, most playground burns are minor, but he’s seen serious cases too. “It’s a blistering burn with some of the skin coming off,” he said.
The risk isn’t always obvious.

At Klyde Warren Park, an infrared thermometer found the hottest thing kids came in contact with was the ground, a cushioned surface that measured almost 165 degrees.


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