Playgrounds not a place of fun in Fresno during summer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Summer heat can lead to some not so summer fun if you're at the playground. Triple digit weather increases the temperature of playground equipment which can cause serious burns.

For most kids, summer break means summer trips to the park. But those trips can be dangerous when scorching heat scorches playground equipment

"I don't really want to go on the playground-- it burns my skin," said Hayden Chastadner, Clovis.

"I don't want them to get burnt and be upset. I don't want any crying kids," said Janel Chastadner, Clovis.

The City of Fresno is trying to make that a reality for parents and kids. The Parks and Recreation Department has installed canopies over 20-percent of its playground.

"The focus is to put them where ever we can in our play areas. And if you touch play equipment that's not covered by shade right now, it's almost impossible for children to use," said Manuel Mollinedo, Fresno City Parks and Recreation Director.

We put just how much of a difference it makes to the test with a thermal gun. In the sun the temperature on the rubberized surface was over 170 degrees. In the shade, it was nearly 50 degrees cooler.

Similar results on the equipment. The unshaded portion of this slide-- 162 degrees. The part protected from the blistering sun-- only 104.

"These are perfect. They keep them covered I haven't had any burns," said Rachel Reynoso, Visalia.

But the City of Clovis does not have canopies over its playground-- just structural shades at about 10-percent of its parks. We tested the difference it makes-- the ground with no cover was over 160 degrees. The slide which is partially shaded-- 143 Degrees.

City officials, however, said they are working on adding canopies like these to make it safer.

"As budget allows, we're going to go back and add shade structures to existing parks. This year we have two budgeted," said Luke Serpa, Clovis Public Utilities Director.

Dr. Kenny Banh-- a professor at UCSF Fresno-- also works in the ER at Community Regional Medical Center. He sees a lot of playground-related burns and tells us these canopies can help.

"We see a lot of burns here, we are the burn center in the Central Valley, and kids don't really have the ability to know until it's too late that they've gotten some severe burns."

The physician we spoke with said light colored clothing is also a good thing to dress your kid in if you take them out to play when it's extremely hot.
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