OKC Medical Expert Warns About Hot Playground Equipment - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OKC Medical Expert Warns About Hot Playground Equipment

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EMSA Operation Supervisor Colin Roy uses a heat gun to test the surface temperatures of playground equipment. EMSA Operation Supervisor Colin Roy uses a heat gun to test the surface temperatures of playground equipment.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

With temperatures reaching the triple-digit mark in the state, medical experts have issued a warning to Oklahomans about staying safe and healthy on hot days.

They say when the weather heats up, everything from dehydration to heat stroke incidents spike. Another problem when the temperatures spike is kids getting burned on hot playground equipment.

Oliver, 8, was burned on playground equipment.

"I went up to the top and I sat down, you know, the heat didn't quite kick in yet and once I was there for about 30 seconds my feet started getting hot," said Oliver.

Oliver recalls how it all happened on a hot summer day. His legs were burned on the metal slide.

"It hurt and I got blistered all down my leg," he said. "It was really bad."

Colin Roy, a field operation supervisor for EMSA, explained that incidents like Oliver's are more common than most parents think. Roy says that just because the air temperature is 100 degrees, the surface temperature on the metals, plastics and rubbers can be 50 degree higher.

"144 degrees there and looks like the ride down is going to be 118," said Roy as he took the surface temperature of a metal slide with a heat gun. "Playground equipment baking in 100-degree weather for a few hours is treacherous. I mean it's really dangerous."

Equipment that hot can cause first-degree or even second-degree burns on children, so Roy explained how vital it is for parents touch the equipment before they let their kids use it. He said if it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your kids to use.

Oliver knows that all too well and had some advice for other kids.

"Touch it, you know, if it's too hot just go back down the stairs," Oliver said.

Beyond the playground danger is the high risk of heat exhaustion and even heat stroke for kids and older adults.

"We get kiddos that are out there that aren't staying hydrated as they're playing. And then we've got the elderly that want to stay active in their yards doing gardening and mowing and stuff like that and they just don't stay cognoscente of the fact that it's hot," explained Roy.

Roy said it does not take a lot to get severely dehydrated and overheated when the temperatures soar over 100-degrees and it is important to know the warning signs.

"When you start moving into heat stroke, their heart rates are going to be extremely fast. They're going to be breathing extremely fast. Those are real life-threatening emergencies."

Roy added that if you see someone with those symptoms, first call 911 and get the person out of the sun. Give them water and put anything cool under their arms and on their neck. It is also important to check on your elderly neighbors in this weather too.

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