GRANDVIEW, Mo. — A Grandview four-year-old is one of two children being treated for second-degree burns after a visit to a playground over Memorial Day weekend.
It’s a situation so alarming that the city has placed warning signs at the playground.
“We went there to enjoy the water since it was so warm out,” said Dawna Wright, who took four children to Grandview’s John Anderson Splash Park on Memorial Day.
Wright’s youngest, four-year-old Asia Smith, was more fascinated by the adjacent playground than she was with the spray park.
Wright said she was worried it might be too hot — since temperatures were in the 90s that day. She touched the equipment before she allowed her daughter, who was wearing a swimsuit, to use it.
“It felt OK,” Wright said.
But she hadn’t felt the slide before Asia started sliding down.
“I could tell by the expression on her face that something was wrong,” said Wright, who ran over to lift her daughter off the slide.
“She just kept screaming and screaming,” she said. “I turned her around, and that’s when I noticed the burns.”
Asia had second-degree burns on the back of both her legs, according to her doctor, Wright said.
Wright posted about the incident on Facebook and immediately heard from another mom whose child had been burned on the same slide the day before.
Pablo Aguayo, the director of the burn unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital, said children wearing swimsuits are particularly at risk on playgrounds where even plastic equipment can become extremely hot.
Aguayo, who has three children, said he avoids taking them to playgrounds in the heat of the afternoon. He said the safest time is early morning or evening.
Be extra cautious with babies.
“Their skin is a lot thinner, so it takes much less contact time,” he said.
Grandview spokeswoman Valerie Poindexter said city officials were alarmed when they heard of the two children being injured and has made changes to improve safety at the park.
“The last thing we want is for any kid to be hurt at any of our parks,” Poindexter said.
Grandview has placed warning signs next to the playground equipment, alerting people that it could be hot and has banned children in swimsuits from using the playground.
The city’s parks department is meeting Friday to begin the process of buying a canopy to protect the playground from the sun.
Both families have been referred to the city’s insurance company.