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Dealing With Playground Heat

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There’s one swing that’ll melt down faster than Tiger Woods’ at the 2015 U.S. Open, and that’s the swing on your child’s playground.

Back in the day when playground swings and slides were made of metal, we all knew when they could become just too hot to handle. Today those playground fryers are made from brightly colored, space-age, heat-reducing polymers, making the equipment look a lot less menacing. But don’t be fooled, the threat of burns is still there!

Exposure to direct sunlight, even when the air temperature is only in the 70s, can really turn up the heat playground 1on the plastic surfaces of slides, climbing platforms and swings. The Consumer Products Safety Commission points to the example of a child receiving second degree burns from a plastic slide on a day where the temps only reached 74 degrees Fahrenheit. And from 2001 to 2008, more incidences of playground thermal burns were reported from plastic, rubber and non-metal surfaces than from metal ones.

So, when you get to the playground, make sure to test the slides, swings, bars and other surfaces, including crawl-arounds, with your hand BEFORE your child starts playing. Remember, a child’s skin is much more sensitive than yours, and it burns easily.

Look for places for kids to play that are out of direct sunlight, but even in the shade you need to test the surfaces. Then you can have a great time making sure your kids get at least two hours of active playtime a day, and you can join in, too!

© 2015 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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