High Temps Make for Dangerously Hot Playgrounds

Andy Berg Headshot

As summer temperatures across the western United States hit triple digits this week, even playground equipment can be dangerous.

In Seattle, Wash., surface temperatures on metal playground equipment exposed to the sun can reach in excess of 140 degrees.

Jayden Hernandez, who lives just down the street from an area playground, told the local CBS affiliate that the park equipment gets steadily warmer throughout the day.

“When we first got here it wasn’t that hot,” said Jayden’s dad Adrian Hernandez. “Now it’s a little hot to be out there.” 

The CBS crew’s infrared temperature gun read the slide at nearly 140 degrees. Experts say that's hot enough to cause second-degree burns. 

Hernandez said he checks the slide with his hand before the kids go down.

“When there's a lot of sun out I like to check because I get burned and I imagine they would get more burnt than me,” Hernandez said.

In an effort to mitigate the problem, Kennewick Parks and Recreation decided to put a canopy over the playground at the Southridge Sports Complex. CBS reported that the awning makes a 60-degree difference in the temperature of the equipment. 

Dan Nelson brought his grandson to play in the shade. 

“I almost didn't stop here because it has been so hot, but I saw they decided to put the shade up so we decided to come over,” Nelson told CBS.

He says the heat sometimes stops them from playing in the summer.

“They should do that to more of the playgrounds really because I noticed a difference immediately walking into the shade. It's quite a bit cooler,” Nelson said.

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