Hot playground equipment has the potential to burn children

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A trip to the park could mean a trip to the emergency room for your child as temperatures keep rising and heating up playgrounds.

On Thursday, there were children running around CL “Charlie” and Willie George Park in UV protective gear and sunscreen while others were barefoot in bathing suits.

It was so hot outside that for the most part the children abandoned the playground and spent their time in the paddling pool part of the park. Many parents said they don’t leave their kids on the playground if it’s too hot outside.

Even though some moms have kept their kids off the playground, not all little ones have gotten the memo that the gear is getting hot. Slides and swings can exceed 160 degrees and children’s skin begins to burn at 120 depending on Kaplan Early Learning Company.

“Any surface temperature will be significantly higher than the outside temperature,” said Josh Kuykendall, battalion chief for Central EMS.

Chiefs of the Central EMS Battalion said children’s bodies regulate temperatures differently than adults, so what might be uncomfortable for us could lead to serious burns for them. Although most of the time they respond to summer heat calls, it’s not for slip burns, but rather for heat exhaustion and strokes.

Kuykendall said all heat-related emergencies start with dehydration and parents should go into each hot summer day with a plan for how to keep their children hydrated.

A plan that includes plenty of water and sunscreen breaks.

Bailey Waddell, a local nurse and mum at the playground with her children, said she sees people coming in all the time with very bad burns. Central EMS said sunburn is the fastest way to hospital with heat exhaustion and can be avoided with shade, sunscreen and protective clothing .

Water shoes are great for keeping toes cool and long pants are great for keeping the backs of kids’ legs from burning on the slide.

Harold B. McConnell