LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) — Metal slides are well known as burn hazards at playgrounds during heat waves. But exactly how hot does playground equipment get?
KRON4 headed out to an East Bay playground in Livermore on Thursday to find out.
Almond Park is usually a popular place for kids, including 2-year-old Norah and her mom, Leah Lusk. The park was almost empty as temperatures rose over 90 degrees before noon.
“It’s nice just to feel the sun, but after 20 minutes, I think we’re good,” Lusk said. She said parents should test playground equipment surfaces before allowing children to play on it.
Most of Almond Park’s play structures were too hot to touch. KRON4’s temperature gauge found that the swings ranged between 105 degrees to 120 degrees.
Going shoeless would have been a bad idea. The playground’s wood chips registered at 125 degrees.
The seesaw was even hotter at 153 degrees, which would burn a child’s skin. Sun shining directly on the slide warmed it up to 100 degrees.
KRON4 compared the difference between standing under shade and standing in exposed areas. The temperature gauge showed a 30-degree difference between air temperatures.
The San Francisco Bay Area’s heat wave is forecast to peak on Labor Day, so surface temperatures at playgrounds will be even hotter and more hazardous over the next few days.
Highs in some parts of the East Bay will easily top 100 degrees on Monday. Tuesday will remain toasty and “Wednesday is not going to be pretty either. We do get some cooling as we get into Thursday,” KRON4 meteorologist Kyla Grogan said.