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Back to school fun, just be careful in the sun

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago Monday, August 08 2022 Aug 8, 2022 August 08, 2022 2:58 PM August 08, 2022 in Weather news
Source: WBRZ Weather
By: The Storm Station Meteorologist

Back to school is here and that means recess is BACK! Children are excited to get back to hanging out with their friends and playing on the playground. While outdoor activities are fun and a great way to get some exercise in, playground equipment could become extremely hot sitting in the sun.

The trend for temperatures this week is just below the average 93° mark. Temperatures are purely dependent on if and when cloud cover and showers set up across the Capital Area. Of course if it is raining then recess will be indoors, but when it’s not raining, playground equipment could become quite hot.

Today I took a trip out to the Raising Cane’s Dog Park in Baton Rouge. I went after a brief shower and the air temperature was reading 84° with feels like temperatures at 91°. There were still some clouds lingering over head but the sun was shining!

I decided to check out the temperatures around the park:

Coming in the hottest at 110° was the black turf ground

At 97° the coated metal bars

The part of the slide in the direct sunlight 91°

Lastly the faded black steps at 90°

Commonly at playgrounds, we see plastic park equipment whether that be slides, swing sets, or seesaws. Some of the common types of playground equipment are made out of metal as well. Plastic does a better job than metal at reflecting heat but both materials have the potential to reach temperatures well above 130° which can cause second-degree burns.

Some things that influence playground temperatures:

Location- Is the playground equipment in direct sunlight and for how long? Less shading leads to higher temperatures. Depending on cloud cover, direct exposure to the sun can heat any surface above the air temperatures in a matter of minutes.

Surface Material- Different materials absorb and release heat at different rates. Playgrounds that have natural surfaces such as grassy areas, sand, and wood will have temperatures closer to the air temperature. Meanwhile, playgrounds that have synthetic rubber surfaces were found to absorb more heat and create a substantially warmer play area.

If you want to keep track of the temperatures and dodge those afternoon showers. Hour-by-hour weather tracking is available for your location on the WBRZ WX App on your Apple or Android device. Follow WBRZ Weather on Facebook and Twitter for even more weather updates and unique weather insight from the whole team!

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