RAPID CITY, S.D. – As families search for ways to get outside this summer, playgrounds are a popular option. During these warmer months it’s important that parents and kids be aware of hot surfaces.
Toddlers and young children can easily get burned, as their bodies are still developing basic senses.
Nurse practitioner, Sarah Rodolph, with Monument Health, gives insight.
“As adults our skin has gotten a little more weathered, so we’re going to be able to tolerate things and our nerves are there to protect us. Babies or smaller children, their nerves don’t tell them as quickly as ours do,” says Rodolph.
Which is why parents should be prepared when planning a trip to the parks.
“Monkey bars that you’re holding onto, anything that the sun is beating directly onto those surfaces, their going to heat up. Even benches that are wooden can be really hot,” she adds.
Although it might be hot out, opt for some lightweight pants over shorts when hitting the playground. This prevents the skin from having direct contact with hot slide or benches.
Playground equipment can get just as hot as the outdoor temperature, which is why it’s important for parents to check the equipment. Touch it first with your hand to determine, whether it’s too hot for the kids to use. Parents should also teach kids this technique.
If your child happens to get burned the first thing you need to do is cool off the burn.
Rodolph says, “A cool water compress. Put it on some paper towels and put it on that burn. Cooling the burn down is the number one way to help prevent it from spreading and ease some pain.”
Never treat burns with alcohol, peroxide, or vinegar, all of those things can make it worse and damage the skin. Soap and cool water are the best bet for cleaning. Adding a layer of petroleum jelly after also helps the healing process.
If your child is burned in a large portion of their body or if the burn blisters or oozes fluids, take them to a health care provider.