For your safety: Hot playground can leave third degree burns

Local News

At Daffin Park in Savannah, screams of joy can turn to screams of pain. Equinvilont Foster, a mom of two girls, knows this firsthand. 

Last summer, her daughters were burned simply from playing on a playground.

“Just by sliding down the slide,” she said. “It was a little stressful because when they come to the playground, you’re thinking that their safety is of utmost importance. And a simple thing like a burn at a playground — you don’t think about that.” 

That’s why Equinvilont comes prepared with towels to protect the kids’ skin from burning on the equipment. “And burn cream… that’s interesting that you have to travel to the park with your own first aid kit,” she said. 

Not all parents do, however. Metal slides can heat up to one hundred and sixty degrees. They start to get hot when the air temperature is just seventy degrees. 

With slides that hot, a trip down could mean a trip to the emergency room with third-degree burns.

According to Dr. Byron Mainor, a pediatric doctor at Memorial Hospital, it’s because their “skin is more delicate, more sensitive. They also lack the reflexes required to get off a hot swing,” he said. 

For this reason, it’s important that kids wear pants and shoes. It takes just a minute to burn. And the worst burns happen on the feet. “They don’t come to the parent’s attention until bath time or bedtime,” said Dr. Mainor. 

Use the back of your hand to test the temperature of slides and equipment before letting your kids play. Always remember that what is warm to you, may be hot to them. 

As for Equivilont, she knows this and always keeps her kids safety in mind. 

“It’s a major concern…when we’re visiting here,” she said. 

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