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Parents urged to check playground equipment to prevent burns

Health officials say they treat a large number of second-degree burns in children every summer in Utah. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Temperatures are expected to hit the triple digits again this week in Utah, and parents are being warned about the danger of playground burns.

Health officials encourage parents to make sure playground equipment is not too hot for their children to use. Metal slides and monkey bars can reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit in this heat.

Brad Wiggins with University of Utah Health’s Burn Center says they treat a lot of second-degree burns on hands and bottoms every year.

“Most people don’t consider their skin to be the largest organ of their body. It is the most important organ of your body, and you’re putting it at the most amount of risk,” Wiggins said during a safety demonstration last month.

Clayton Scrivner with Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation also reminds people to be aware of other parts of the park that can get warm.

“Especially if it’s not shaded, [such as] some of our natural obstacles like rocks,” Scrivner says.

Child safety experts recommend using the park during a cooler time of day, like the morning, and keeping lots of water and sunscreen on hand.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises parents to be careful around a variety of playground materials, not just metal. The agency says children of any age are at risk for burns, but children under two are the most at risk because their skin is thinner and they have not yet learned to react to heat by moving away from it.