Every child dreams of speeding down the slide, flying on the swing set, and climbing through the monkey bars. No matter the time of day or outside temperature, children should take precautions when playing on the playground. Both metal and plastic equipment can overheat and harm your child. Sunny days can cause equipment to heat up to temperatures greater than 140 degrees, and burns to children can occur in minutes at 120 degrees or in seconds at 140 degrees.
Your child can still experience burning even on a cool day. The presence of extensive sunlight can result in the equipment retaining heat and cause harm. Stay away from the playground when the sun is at its hottest, so take your child to the playground either early morning or early evening when the sun is down and the equipment is cool.
Exposing your child to the hot surface can cause painful injuries. Injuries from the equipment will most likely result in first degree burn. To prevent further damage, place cold water on the area for 10-15 minutes to stop the burning process of the skin. Cover area loosely if the burn is severe and see a physician immediately. Seek further assistance for burns 3 inches in diameter or over a joint, or if the burn is located on the sole of the foot or palm of the hands.
Protect your child by following some simple precautions when playing on these hot surfaces. Have your child wear long pants to protect the skin on the back of the legs because this area is highly sensitive. Also, have your child wear tennis shoes to prevent their feet from burning on the surface. Tennis shoes prohibit young child from easily being able to take off the shoes and injure the sole of their feet.
Prevent your child from experiencing first degree burns by taking precautions and paying close attention to the temperature of the equipment. Young children are not aware of the possible harm of playing on a playground or the pain of a severe burn. Enjoy the remaining summer days by following these crucial injury prevention tips.
For more safety information, please visit www.chp.edu/injury-prevention.