Playground Equipment Can Be Dangerous on Hot Days

Published on July 08, 2022

With recent high temperatures nearing or surpassing 100 degrees, and more hot weather expected for the summer months, Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR) is advising parents and caregivers that playground equipment can heat to dangerously high temperatures, posing a burn risk for children. As the temperature outside increases, so does the temperature of the equipment on the playground. The most common areas on a playground for a child to be burned are on a slide or other synthetic surface that absorbs and retains heat.

A child of any age can be burned by a hot surface; however, young children are most at risk due to their skin being more delicate, and the fact that they may not yet be able to react by removing themselves from a hot surface. 

Keeping children safe on hot playgrounds should always be a priority. DPR offers the following tips for parents before heading to the playground this summer:

  • Be aware of the sun and weather conditions, and do not assume that equipment is safe due to air temperature not being very high
  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing i.e., long pants and shoes
  • Always check the temperature of the equipment and surfacing before letting your children play on the playground as a young child's skin will burn faster than your own, and if it feels hot to your hand, it may be too hot for a child's bare skin
  • Supervise your child while on the playground to help prevent incidents