WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tennessee mom Ashley Elizabeth Brown posted photos on Facebook of the second degree burns her 14-month-old son suffered. She said his hands were burned on daycare playground equipment beneath the summer sun.
“This equipment can certainly be hot so I can see how, you know, that can happen,” said Christine Brunn of Dallas. She brought her 3-year-old son Lincoln to have fun at the Kirby Park playground in Wilkes-Barre. As a mom, she understands how an unsuspecting child can easily get burned on the equipment. “It’s more so when myself as a parent gets on the equipment with him that you really realize it.”
If you think it’s only metal slides that get hot in the summer sun, think again. The Consumer Product Safety Commission documents 30 playground thermal burns in a seven year span. Ten injuries were associated with plastic, rubber or other nonmetal surfaces which can soar above 100 degrees in direct sunlight. “You think with new developments and modern equipment that the plastic wouldn’t be as hot but it actually surprisingly is hot,” said Ms. Brunn.
The Sway Fun ride at Kirby Park is made of a resin material. Emily Parks of Ashley was going to give her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia, a push on it but quickly changed her mind. “I felt like my hands were burning so I can’t imagine how it is to be a child and sit on something that hot.” She has this recommendation for parents everywhere. “Just be careful and make sure you check the equipment before your child goes on it.”
Remember — a young child’s skin is thinner and delicate and can burn in just a few seconds. So what should you watch for? The CPSC says keep an eye out for uncoated metal equipment or metal equipment where the heat-reducing coating rubbed off. Also, dark colored plastics or rubber can get very hot and pose a burn threat to children.
The CPSC also warns asphalt and concrete around playgrounds can get very hot and result in burns to the feet if your kids are barefoot.