Playgrounds reach temperatures that could melt your child's skin in the summer

Playground at Linkhorne Elementary School (Photo: Lynchburg City Schools)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The dangers linked to hot summer days are real; everyone knows what can happen outside if you're not careful.

For children, there's even a risk that isn't always easy to spot.

You can find it on lots of playgrounds across the country.

Water Parks provide instant relief from the hot summer temperatures, but when it comes to playground equipment, problems can arise.

On a day where it's 91° outside, the playground equipment at Riverside Park's Sprayground had been baking in the hot sun for hours; using an Infrared Thermometer with Laser Sight a green colored climbing done registered at about 137 °F.

"It kinda makes you want to bring a container to pour water on it," said one parent.

The concrete around the playground came in at 118°F, but on the rubber foam material underneath the equipment, temperatures reached 160°F.

"I would think that they would have something cooler for the kids," another parent said.

Experts said skin burns can happen at temperatures around 120° or higher.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports a child of any age can be burned by a hot surface, but children two-years-old and younger are most at risk because their skin is more susceptible to burning due to its thinner and more delicate nature.

A swing registered at 126° at Linkhorne Elementary School in Lynchburg, the slide came in at 160° and a plastic climbing rock came in at 136°F.

There are objects to cushion a child's fall on the playground, but some of those rubber pads clocked in at 140°F on a hot day.

It was the same story at Peaks View Park in Lynchburg.

A slide measured in at more than 140°F.

At Heritage Elementary School there was more dangerously hot equipment, but the playground area had a sticker on one of the bars warning parents about how playground surfaces can cause serious contact burns.

Riverside Park has a much larger sign with a warning for parents, but it wasn't very comforting.

"You'd think by now, they'd come up with different kinds of material or something," said one mom.

Safety experts report that the easiest way to check a piece of playground equipment to make sure it's safe to play on is to touch it with your hand; if it's too hot to your touch, it's too hot to put your children on it.

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