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Extreme heat can make playground equipment a burn hazard

This video shows the temperatures of different surfaces at the Cosmo-Bethel Park playground.


The temperature could be hot enough Monday and Tuesday to make playground equipment a burn hazard.

The ABC 17 News Stormtrack Weather Team has issued a Weather Alert Day for Monday and Tuesday, with a heat index above 100 degrees expected each day.

With this rising heat, playground equipment can reach dangerously high temperatures. 

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission posted on X a warning to check for hot playground equipment. The agency said, "It's not always a great day for the playground. Always check for hot playground equipment. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your child's skin."

A little bit after noon at Cosmo-Bethel Park in Columbia, slides on the playground were 136 degrees.

According to the American Burn Association, it can take 3 seconds on a 140-degree piece of playground equipment to receive a second-degree burn.

The product safety commission gives some tips to keep children safe at the parks:

  • Be aware of sun and weather conditions and do not assume that equipment is safe because the temperature is not high
  • Dress children in appropriate clothing for the playground
  • Remember that playground equipment and even surfaces can cause burns
  • Always watch children while on the playground

High temperatures on Monday and Tuesday were forecast to hit the mid- to upper 90s along with high humidity. Those factors combine to form the heat index, or what some call the "feels like" temperature.

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Allison Weaver

Allison is an intern with ABC 17 News.


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