EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — With summer in full swing, many kids are hitting the parks to have some fun in the sun.

“Pay attention to the signs. Just don’t try and overdue it. You have to recognize you know ‘I’m starting to feel lightheaded, I’m not sweating, I haven’t been drinking as much liquid as I should,” said Evansville Fire Department Division Chief Mike Larson.

However, officials warn about the hidden dangers of a seemingly harmless playground.

“As a parent you really need to pay attention to your child when they’re playing on some of this equipment. I mean in the direct sun some of this equipment here, we used a laser thermometer and it’s showing around 130 degrees surface temperature on that. That can be critical for a young child. If they fall down on it and sit there for a minute they could very easily get a first degree burn off that,” said Chief Larson.

To monitor a surface’s temperature to know the risks before touching it, the Evansville Fire Department uses a thermometer gun. We walked around the playground measuring some surfaces to see what dangers are right in front of us.

“It’s ranging between 122 and I think somewhere down here I got 140.” // “Oh ya there we go 90 degrees,” said Larson. 

In order to prevent a young child from getting burned, Chief Larson said to err on the side of caution. 

“Listen to the weather. People are giving you warnings far in advance of the specific heat indexes that are going on in the city with the humidity and the temperature,” said Larson.

If you are planning on going to the playground, consider looking for a more shaded area to play under. In direct sunlight, the heat thermometer measures the ground temperature at 155 degrees, but over in the shade, it drops to 98.

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