Summer heat leads to playground hazards

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been hot the past few weeks, and it’s only going to get hotter. With little ones out of school for the scorching summer, the playground may not be a safe place to play.

“In the summer time heat like this, especially these hot hot days, these slides can be really dangerous. They’re very hot. I’m barely touching this one and it’s very warm,” said Larry Gallegos with Bernalillo County.

The slides at all Bernalillo County parks are made out of plastic. Gallegos said the county replaced all the metal slides years ago, because of just how they would get But plastic isn’t perfect either.

On a typical June day in Albuquerque, the temperature can reach up to 95 degrees, and even 100 degrees. But the slides can reach temperatures well over 140 degrees.

Gallegos said plastic slides can still retain a lot of heat and burn to the touch.

“That’s the one thing about this, it’s a solid piece on this playground equipment so there’s no airflow coming in to cool it down,” he said.

As the county builds more parks, it said it’s taking our sometimes-scorching desert climate into consideration. It’s got some ideas to make sure the equipment won’t get too hot.

“Some of our newer parks, the smaller playgrounds are actually being covered more so that the exposure to the sun is not as drastic,” said Gallegos.

Parents said they were surprised by the burning temperatures the slides reached.

“Now that it is getting hot, we’ll make sure to either stay indoors, or we’ll go on a different day or wait until the evening to go out to the park,” said Victor Line.

The county suggests parents go to the playground early in the morning or late at night. If it’s too hot for even a walk, then it’s probably too hot for the playground.