Pocatello mom urges others to be careful after her child burns hand on plastic slide

Submitted photo Pocatello resident Stephanie Luker says her nearly two-year-old daughter, Ariadne, pictured here, received second-degree burns on her left hand while playing on a plastic slide at Alameda Park last week.

Submitted photo
Pocatello resident Stephanie Luker says her nearly two-year-old daughter, Ariadne, pictured here, received second-degree burns on her left hand while playing on a plastic slide at Alameda Park last week.

By Kendra Evensen, kevensen@journalnet.com 

POCATELLO — A Pocatello woman is cautioning parents to be careful when they take their children to playgrounds this summer after her young daughter received second-degree burns while playing on a plastic slide.

Stephanie Luker says she took her nearly 2-year-old daughter, Ariadne, to Alameda Park in Pocatello around 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Ariadne was playing on a large yellow slide at the playground when she started to complain that her hand hurt and the slide was hot, Stephanie said. When she looked at her daughter’s left hand, it was pink and red.

She took Ariadne home to wash her up and that’s when she noticed small blisters forming on her hand.

She called a doctor’s office to describe what she was seeing and they confirmed that her daughter had sustained second-degree burns. Stephanie said she didn’t have to take Ariadne to the doctor because the blisters were small, but she has been watching them closely to ensure they don’t become infected.

Stephanie is now urging parents to check playground equipment before they let their kids play on it.

“I would hate for this to happen to somebody else’s kids. It scared me,” Stephanie said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says many people know that metal playground equipment can become hot enough to burn a child, but they don’t realize the same thing can happen on today’s plastics and rubbers.

“CPSC is aware of nearly 30 thermal burn incidents from 2001-2008. Of those incidents, 10 were associated with plastic, rubber, or other nonmetal surfaces, and seven were associated with metal surfaces,” according to the CPSC fact sheet “Burn Safety Awareness on Playgrounds.”

CPSC officials say it doesn’t even have to be that warm outside for equipment to become too hot to play on. One child received a second-degree burn on a plastic slide when it was only 74 degrees outside.

Children 2 and younger are particularly susceptible to burns because their skin is more delicate and they don’t always know how to react when they’re hurting, according to CPSC officials.

“Unlike the reflex that happens when a child touches a very hot surface with their hand, a young child who is sitting or standing on the hot surface may scream from the pain of burning, but they may not know to move from the location that is burning them,” according to the fact sheet.

Stephanie said her daughter didn’t act like she was really hurting and didn’t even want to stop playing when she took her home. She’s grateful she did anyway.

“It would have been worse if she kept playing.”

He suggests parents test the temperature of the equipment before they let their kids play on it.

“If you feel it is too hot to use, play on another piece of equipment, or perhaps consider coming back during a cooler part of the day — earlier morning or later in the evening, approaching sunset,” Banks said.

CPSC officials also encourage parents to check the temperature of equipment.

“Remember, a young child’s skin will burn faster than your own. If it feels hot to your hand, it may be too hot for a child’s bare skin,” according to the fact sheet, which also adds that some materials transfer heat slower than others, so they may not feel hot with just a quick touch.

CPSC officials also remind parents to pay close attention to uncoated metal equipment or equipment that may have had the heat-reducing coating rubbed off, slides and swings that children sit on, dark-colored plastics and rubbers, and asphalt and concrete surfaces — all of which can become hot enough to burn a child.