Parents are being warned to be cautious when letting their children play on hot surfaces at the playground this summer.

A study by the University of Western Sydney found astro turf can hit temperatures of almost 90 degrees Celsius during hot weather, reports SMH.

Plastic toys can also reach up to 76C the study found. Even the soft fall rubber covering at many children’s playgrounds can reach more than 80 degrees.

Some furniture and decking from wood get almost as hot.

The study found grass and sand were the safest surfaces, reaching a maximum of 47 and 41 degrees in full sunlight.

Semi-natural surfaces, such as wood, woodchips, brick, rock and cement were hotter, with woodchips reaching 75 degrees in sunlight and wood hitting 65 degrees. All were significantly cooler in the shade.

The study found that greenery and natural surfaces should be “promoted in the design of preschools, whilst artificial surfaces should be used sparingly and in the presence of shade” so children could play outside in summer.

It comes a week after a Queensland toddler suffered second-degree burns to her feet on a metal plate in a playground.

Share your comments below.

  • Some playgrounds are so poorly designed. If it is raining we can’t go to the park and if it is over 30•C we can’t go to the park. They need to consider the weather and put more shade up where appropriate.


  • Oh dear – whatever happened to common sense. We always touched whatever was going to be played on before allowing our children near it.


  • Trouble is kids jump onto playground equipment and are burnt so quickly. Parents need to check first.


  • this is just common sense! if it is too hot to touch – its too hot to play on! parents need to check before their kids play.


  • I don’t think this danger is so hidden, it’s so obvious and should be on our mind all the time. Even this weekend when we went to the beach, we got reminded how hot sand can become in the sun. So much so that you can hardly walk it.
    It can help when we go bare feet ourselves and go before our kids on the playground equipment.


  • I have often wondered how local parks choose the materials the playgrounds are made of. I had issues for a while in trying to get my son to go down slides because he went on a metal one once that was extremely hot!


  • Very true, so dangerous in hot weather


  • This happened to my youngest. Lucky it was a small burn but could have been alot worse.


  • If it’s that hot outside for everything to get that hot, we won’t be out in it lol

    • We choose our time of day too – we avoid the blistering heat as much as possible.


  • I do like the astro turf as if they fall over it doesn’t hurt as much as other surfaces but I noticed it does get hot. There’s a warning sign at a park in Sydney re the slides getting hot. Seems like a bad design as there isn’t a tree in sight near the slides so they are in full sun all day!


  • We have had vandals (I could use another name but I won’t) set fire to shade sails at a couple of our parks. It just breaks my heart(for the children) and makes me sooo angry that someone could be so evil to do such a thing (and I wonder if they ever experienced the joy of play as a child). The council spend money to put these shade sails up so the children can at least have a bit of shade, only to have these low life … …..burn it down.


  • Slides do get hot and we always are selective about times of day.


  • That’s right. Slides in particular can become incredible hot. It would be nice to look for a playground with sails overt it.


  • I’m surprised that all children’s playgrounds aren’t made to be completely undercover. Here in Aus, we have so much sunshine, protection from it is imperstive


  • I would have never thought astro turf got that hot. I still remember burning my toosh on the old metal slippery dips growing up.


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