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Play it Cool on Hot Playgrounds

By Whirl Construction (606 words)
Posted in Commercial Playgrounds on July 22, 2014

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Whether in your own backyard or a public park, playgrounds provide kids with the fun and physical activity they seek in the summertime. But when the summer heat kicks in, there are few safety precautions you can follow to keep kids from getting too hot on the playground. Playground equipment can reach 100+ degrees in the middle of the afternoon, so follow these tips to help your children stay cool in hot parks and playgrounds.

Dont Play at High Noon
The best way to avoid a hot playground is to stay indoors between Noon and 3pm. These are often the hottest hours of the day, when the sun is at its peak, shade is limited, and playground equipment is scorching hot. Stay indoors during these hours, enjoying lunch or maybe an afternoon nap, before you head out for a day at the park. As the sun starts to set, the temperature will drop, making it much more comfortable for children to climb and play. If you must go out during this time of day, dress the children in long pants to avoid burns on the slide and seek out playgrounds with shady coverings or water play-sets.

Watch Out for Hot Equipment
Plastic slides on playgrounds can reach 130 degrees during the summer. Even the metal water fountains put in place to keep children cool can reach 113 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, so bear these extreme temperatures in mind when you and the family head out to play. The best way to avoid these hot play-places is to go out during the early morning hours before the equipment has the chance to heat up. Even when the sun starts to set, the slides and swings can still be extremely hot to the touch. Plan ahead for hot equipment by bringing games the children can play and try and direct your kids to the shaded, cooler parts of the park.

Assess the Weather
Keep your eye on the humidity and UV levels before heading to the playground for the day. The surface temperature of asphalt and blacktops can range anywhere from 100-130 degrees during summer afternoons, and on top of peak humidity and 7+ UV, the playground can look and feel like Death Valley. If that’s the case, it will be too hot for physical activity outdoors. You and the kids will be safer playing inside or taking a trip to the pool.

Recognize Symptoms of Overheating
Because children rarely complain about being too hot when they play, it will be up to you to recognize symptoms of overheating on the playground. If children’s muscles cramp up, they start to feel nauseas or dizzy, and turn pale, cool them down quickly before the symptoms escalate into heatstroke. Avoid these symptoms by making sure your children drink enough water and rest every 20 minutes or so between activities. Simply having them take a drink of water and sit on the bench for 5 minutes will keep them healthy and having fun.

These tips will keep you cool this summer, but it’s always a good idea to pack a bag with summer heat essentials before you head to the playground. Water bottles, sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are key items that will keep you cool and help you and the kids avoid heatstroke. One of the most fun things you can do this summer is pack a bag of water balloons. While the playground equipment heats up to 100+ degrees, throw a few balloons at each other and the slides to keep the playground as cool as possible. 

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