Officials urge parents to take precautions at Toronto playgrounds amid hot temperatures

Click to play video: 'Nurse cautions parents about risk of burns at hot playgrounds' Nurse cautions parents about risk of burns at hot playgrounds
WATCH ABOVE: With the hotter weather, families may be rushing to their local playground and splash pad to stay cool. But a pediatric nurse warns play structures can cause more harm than good. Caryn Lieberman explains – May 28, 2018

As Toronto remains under a special weather statement with temperatures in the low 30s, officials are encouraging parents to exercise caution at local parks.

The warning comes amid concerns being raised about metal slides at Toronto parks such as Corktown Common and Greenwood Park.

“One of the things we always watch for is those metal slides. I remember those when I was a kid,” Tina Taus, who was at Greenwood Park with her two-year-old daughter Sophia, said.

READ MORE: Environment Canada issues special weather statement for Toronto, southern Ontario as heat wave hits

“These slides were painfully hot … so I’m surprised they still installed those compared to plastic.”

Charis Kelly, a nurse practitioner with the Hospital for Sick Children who works with children who have been burned, told Global News she has seen cases where children have received contact burns from hot, metal slides. But it’s not that particular type of playground equipment that can cause injury.

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“[It can be] something as simple as a plastic, black swing … We’ve even had kids come in who have sustained burns to the bottoms of their feet from standing on a [heavy black plastic] doormat at their house,” Kelly said while warning against letting children walk or run around barefoot.

“I don’t think that people are very aware that these temperatures have really impacted the playfulness of a playground.”

Kelly strongly suggested parents check the surface temperature of playground equipment before use and apply sunscreen on their children. She also encouraged parents to consider going to the park in the morning or mid-to-late afternoon.

Meanwhile, City of Toronto officials have even gone so far as blocking off the slides due to potential safety concerns.

“The City of Toronto regularly inspects its playgrounds for safety and our staff are in Toronto’s parks every day undertaking routine maintenance,” the City of Toronto said in a written statement to Global News on Monday.

READ MORE: Unexpected ways kids can get scalded and how to prevent them

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“It is important, however, that every resident plays a role in public safety – looking out for hazards and taking care when using our shared spaces.”

At Corktown Common, a newer park that had a metal slide installed, city staff said they’re looking at installing “shade features” to mitigate the sun.

— With files from Caryn Lieberman

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