EMSA Issues Warning About Dangers Of Hot Playgrounds
OKLAHOMA CITY - Paramedics are warning of the dangers blazing summer heat is bringing to metro playgrounds.
Monday, as air temperatures made it over the 100-degree mark, surface temperatures at a metro playground rose to near 170 degrees.
“Really, almost every part of a playground this time of year is dangerous when it comes to heat,” EMSA Chief of Staff John Graham said. “Even the poles. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s going to be way too hot for your legs and certainly for kids.”
The Consumer Protect Safety Commission (CPSC) said it doesn’t even have to be hot for a child to receive a burn.
“Even in mild weather, as long as the equipment or surfacing is in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, there is a risk of sustaining a thermal burn injury,” the agency said.
The CPSC said to look out for the following:
- Uncoated metal equipment, or metal equipment where the heat-reducing coating has rubbed off
- Slides, swings, or other equipment that a child may sit on
- Dark-colored plastics and rubbers, especially the surfacing under and around the playground equipment
- Asphalt and concrete surfaces near playgrounds
The City of Oklahoma City said all city playgrounds now have plastic slides and equipment, however, Graham said just because it’s not metal, doesn’t mean it’s not hot.
“Plastic can burn you just as fast as the metal can,” Graham said. “In fact, sometimes the plastic can be much warmer.”
Paramedics said younger children’s skin is less developed and thinner, making them more susceptible to receiving burns.
Graham said if a child receives severe burns, go to the emergency room for medical attention or make the call to 911 to have a paramedic determine if the child needs to be taken to the hospital.