Protecting kids from getting burned at the playground

Surfaces can very hot and lead to burns.

BOISE - As we brace ourselves for more triple-digit temperatures, families are having to get more creative about where they can take their kids this summer.

Your neighborhood park is usually a popular place, but beware of that playground equipment!

Whether it's plastic or metal things like this a slide can get so hot it has the potential to cause third-degree burns.

These types of burns and others from hot surfaces outside are something physicians see often this time of year.

"It's really hot because the sun has been beating down on the rock. It's hard to climb up because it burns your fingers," said Stephanie Luker.

And those burns can be serious.

Just ask Stephanie Luker. Her daughter suffered serious burns on a slide on an eastern Idaho playground.

"I was wiping her hand off to look at it and cleaning it off and saw that it has blistered up a little bit on her fingers,” said Luker. “So I called the doctor and waited for a call back. And then found out it was second-degree burns"

Stories like that cause concern for parents like Lauren Castillo.

"The slides are probably the biggest concerns,” said Castillo. “These they can touch and they know but definitely the slides they don't think twice about it and they just go right down."

"Parks are sort of a big time danger zone,” said Christie Flynn. “I mean I have a 2-year-old myself so I understand that."

Christie Flynn is a physician assistant. She says the heat on playground can be especially dangerous to children because their skin is more sensitive.

"Their skin is a bit thinner than ours,” said Flynn. “Often times they are the ones to just take their shoes off and run around so that's another thing to kind of be aware of."

It's not just the slides and swings, Flynn says be mindful of the cement, park benches, or any surface that can heat up in the sun. 

And look for signs of a burn -- including redness, blistering, or inflammation.

"In children this is kind of difficult because often times that can't tell us how severe their pain is, so if they're crying or very upset there's a reason to be concerned," said Flynn.

If you aren't sure how hot a surface is there are things you can do to test it out.

Flynn says touch that surface you're concerned about with the back of your hand. You should be able to gauge if it's too hot for your child.

And if you do think your child has a burn, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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