Extreme heat can mean hidden dangers on the playground

Local News

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – First responders here say, without proper precautions, outdoor playtime in the extreme heat can turn into a serious health concern.

Thursday, Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth helped 2 NEWS test the temperature of some of the surfaces at a city playground.

He aimed a thermal imaging camera, typically used in firefighter rescue operations, to measure the equipment sitting in Thursday’s heat at Shullgate Park. 

A black swing registered at 131 degrees Fahrenheit, a plastic slide was 125 degrees and the spongy, recycled tire material used to pad the ground was 129 degrees.

Most modern playgrounds, including all Huber Heights equipment, is coated in a heat-reducing plastic and Chief Ashworth said he’s never responded to reports of contact burns at a playground. He said while burns are rare, the hot surfaces can increase a child’s risk of a heat-related illness.

“Make sure they don’t fall victim to heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” Ashworth said. “Heat stroke is one of the worst things that can happen and it can happen at any age.”

He added, “If a child is lethargic, not responding appropriately, sweating profusely, maybe even some nausea and vomiting, it’s time to take a break.”

For information about what to look for and what to do in cases of heat-related illness, click here.

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