What should've been a fun day at the park turned into an upsetting ordeal for a nearly 2-year-old girl.
While Ariadne was playing with her mom at an Idaho playground, she mentioned her hands hurt after going down a plastic slide. Her mom, Stephanie Luker, noticed how red the toddler's small palm was, and the irritation turned to blisters by the time they returned home.
Like many parents, Stephanie assumed that she only needed to worry about metal slides possibly burning her child during days with hot weather, and she was shocked that this could happen from plastic equipment.
Stephanie called her doctor's office, which confirmed that the child was suffering from second-degree burns, and has been monitoring the blisters at home to prevent infection. "When I told [the nurse] it was a plastic slide, she was very, very surprised. I don't think any of us had heard of that happening before," Stephanie told KPVI.
This concerned mom is now urging parents to always test the play equipment first, even if it's plastic. "I would hate for this to happen to somebody else's kids. It scared me," Stephanie told the Idaho State Journal.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, it doesn't even need to be hot out for a child to be burned from a plastic playground. It notes that one child received a second-degree burn while playing on a plastic slide when it was just 74 degrees out. "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," a CPSC fact sheet notes.
CPSC officials also warn that children who are 2 years old and younger are at a greater risk for burns because their skin is more delicate and they don't always stay away from the source of pain. "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," the sheet explained.