Parents only want to protect their children at all times, but unless you’re keeping them snuggled up in bubble wrap all day, accidents are bound to happen. While at the splash park one day with her kids, Missouri mom Dawna Wright learned that, unfortunately, something can go terribly wrong in the blink of a moment. Her story is definitely a cautionary tale for all parents.
Dawna had brought her four kids to the splash park to beat the heat on a very hot Memorial Day. Her youngest daughter, four-year-old Asia, decided she’d rather explore a nearby playground than play in the splash park. Since the temperatures were soaring, Dawna checked all of the playground equipment to make sure it wasn’t too hot and then gave Asia the go ahead to play.
Dawna didn’t, however, feel the slide. Asia excitedly started to slide down but then screamed out in agony. Her mom ran to see what happened, finding that Asia had raw patches of skin on the backs of both of her legs.
The plastic slide was so hot that Asia suffered second-degree burns from that very quick ride down the playground favorite. Since children have thinner skin than adults, that very brief amount of contact did some serious damage.
Dawna took to Facebook to caution other parents about this danger that’s likely lurking in anyone’s neighborhood park.
Dawna told Fox 4 News: “We went there to enjoy the water since it was so warm out” and said that the playground equipment “felt OK” for her little one to use.
When Asia went down the slide, Dawna explained, “I could tell by the expression on her face that something was wrong. She just kept screaming and screaming. I turned her around, and that’s when I noticed the burns.”
After posting about the incident on Facebook, another mom told her that her child had been burned on that same slide the day before.
Pablo Aguayo, the director of the burn unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital, told Fox 4 that children wearing swimsuits are particularly at risk on playgrounds when the equipment heats up. He noted that the safest times to visit playgrounds are early morning or evening, avoiding the afternoon heat.
The city has since placed warning signs next to the playground to alert people about the dangers of hot equipment and banned children in swimsuits from using the playground. The city parks department is also working to buy a canopy that would protect the playground from the sun and provide some much-needed shade.
Many commenters were thankful for the information, as one person noted: “Omg. Poor thing. I knew slides got hot but this is extreme. Hope she is doing ok. Also thanks for the post. I will be better about checking slides.”
Dawna responded: “I’ve never in my life seen a slide do such horrible damage to a baby’s skin! And that’s what this is post is all about! I hope no parent ever makes my mistake and will always remember to check the slides!”