Playground's hot surfaces pose burn risks to children

  • Published
  • By Regina Coffey
  • Air Force Flight Test Center Ground Safety
Solid steel decks, hard plastic slides or steps in direct sunlight retain heat and may reach temperatures hot enough to cause serious contact burns in a matter of seconds. Because of this, parents and caregivers are responsible to check for hot surfaces on playground equipment before allowing young children to play on it.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children may suffer second- and third-degree burns to their hands, legs and buttocks from using playground equipment. 

Young children are at higher risk for burns. Unlike older children who react quickly by pulling away their hands or by getting off a hot surface, young children may remain in place when they contact a hot surface. 

During hot days, it is best to go to the playground in the early morning, the evening or when the playground is shaded. 

Always bring drinking water. Dehydration occurs more quickly when children are running around playing, especially in warm weather. 

You can ensure the playground is a place that's safe and entertaining for children simply by checking the equipment for  potential hazards.