Study Reveals Playground Surfaces Can Get Very Hot During Summer

According to a recent study conducted on childcare centre playgrounds in Sydney, Astroturf can reach a temperature of 90 degrees C in summer. Soft fall rubber, on the other hand, can go as high as 80 degrees. This very rubber used to cover playgrounds to make it safer for children. If you are surprised with these findings, it might be good from now on to now leave school chairs and furniture outside the heat of the sun during summer season.

During a hot summer day, a plastic toy left out as the sun beats down can reach 76 degrees. Even decking made of wood and furniture that are out in the open can get very hot. These figures were published by the University of Western Sydney. After learning about the information, childcare educators are now preventing any outdoor play during the summer.

The hot surfaces all over the children’s playground can be a safety hazard. In fact, a child suffered second degree burns on the soles of her feet as the 18-month old is playing at an Ipswich park.

Western Sydney University’s senior research fellow, Sebastian Pfautsch, said that educators know that the surfaces can be hot during that time of the day but the lack is training regarding the matter. There are many ways to test how hot the bare metal such as pushing a piece of furniture or sliding ice down. The problem is that not everyone has the general knowledge on those techniques.

To say that the findings were a shock to the public is an understatement. Even the little kids are not sure what to do when they come in contact with a burning surface that they do not move for a few seconds until they suffer burn.

According to the same research, the safest areas for the children to play around in the playground are on grass as well as sand because the temperature is only between 41 and 47 degrees. Other materials can go very hot such as school chairs made of wood or cement and other playground equipment made of brick or wood chips. Unless the playground is under the shade, it is best to avoid it.