TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa’s Water Works Park is a popular spot for kids to play on the equipment and cool off on the splash pad.
But a day of fun in the sun at Water Works Park turned into a nightmare for a Florida family.
The family told 8 On Your Side that their toddler was badly burned when playing at the park.
The family claims that when their toddler ran from the splash pad to the playground her feet were badly burned when she stepped barefoot onto the rubber mat that covers the ground.
The family said the child had to be rushed to the hospital and was treated for second- and third-degree burns on both of her feet.
At the park Friday parents felt some relief after seeing city workers doing temperature checks.
“We saw one of the maintenance workers come out here with a temperature thermometer checking the playground equipment, checking the floors and all these different spots. He had a clipboard, and he was writing down the temperatures,” parent Courtney Ventrone said.
Medical experts said the hot temperatures should raise concern with parents, warning that playground equipment can get dangerously hot in the heat.
“Some of the temperatures can reach 160-170 degrees with rubber and plastic,” said Dr. Meghan Martin, an Emergency Room physician with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.
Martin said it only takes seconds to suffer a burn.
“Thermal injuries can happen very quickly and thermal injuries or burns can happen very quickly,” she said. “You can have a second-degree burn in three seconds, and a third-degree burn in five seconds.”
To protect your children, Dr. Martin recommends that children always wear shoes when at the playground. She also urges parents to check playground equipment before letting children play on it.
She also suggested that parents avoid taking their children to the park when the sun is hottest — late morning and early afternoon.
“Not only because it can get hot and cause burns, but also because you’re at risk for heat injuries and stuff like that because it is so hot,” Martin said.
The family involved has hired an attorney and did not want to be identified.
The City of Tampa said they are looking into the incident.