Children’s outdoor playground equipment can often get extremely hot to the touch, especially on hot summer days. This is a big thing to keep in mind when taking your child to the park as kids are less tolerant to the heat than adults, so it is important to make sure they are well protected. You should be extra cautious of this when taking your kids out as the playground equipment can become very hot and burn your children.
Install Shade Structures
One of the best ways to keep your playgrounds cool is to add shaded areas that could be umbrellas, canopies, awnings, and pergolas. These can help with sun, rain, or wind however one thing to keep in mind is the size of the playground, the climate, the type/style of materials you’re using, and your overall budget as they can range from different prices. Adding any of these can provide protection for the children from any weather and keep them safe.
Having these in children’s playgrounds is important as it gives a safe spot for children to go whilst playing if the equipment is starting to get very hot or if your kids are starting to overheat from being out in the sun too much. You can use shaded areas as a spot for you to go during the day to eat food or to chill out if you don’t want to go home and are out for the full day.
Planting trees could be a great option as it is good for the environment and is better than installing big sculptures. Trees are very environmentally friendly and are a safe option, they provide natural shade and can reduce playground equipment to around 7 degrees cooler than it is. Although one thing to think about when adding trees to a children’s playground is the time it takes to grow, trees will take up to 30 years to fully grow. Also, another thing to think about when having trees is maintaining them, they need to be continuously cut down and taken care of otherwise they could become dangerous for kids to play near. However they are a very good option and are helpful for the environment and pollution, they can also add some color to the playground to improve the view.
Also, when planting trees, you are advised to choose a tree native to your area as it might be difficult to grow. This is something to consider as it might not survive in the climate you are in due to weather or pollution. You should also plant the tree around 18-20 feet away from the playground equipment as it could damage the playground if it is too close.
Use Reflective Materials
Another way to keep children’s playground equipment protected from sunlight is to use materials that reflect the sun. This can keep the playground cooler because the sunlight will reflect off it so it isn’t overheating. Some Common reflective materials that people use include white gravel, white sand, and white concrete. These help to reflect the sun off the floor making it a lot cooler for kids to play on. You can also use certain paints that reflect the sun off them for the actual equipment like slides, swings, or any of the equipment that children will be constantly touching.
Install a Mist System
Using a misting mechanism is a system of pipes that spray light water around the playground keeping it cooler throughout the day it starts to get too hot. They can help to regulate the temperature and lower it by around 10 degrees. When installing mist sprays it is best to get it done by a professional as it can be quite difficult to do on your own. They can also be costly depending on what you do, so this option might not be advised for everyone. However, it is a good choice as it will cool the playground surfaces down very quickly and can be good entertainment for the kids if they want to cool down fast as well.
Cover the Playground Equipment
Another good way of keeping the playground cool is by adding a cover over it, it is recommended to use some type of tarp or protective cover for it to work the best. When having a tarp covering the playground it is advised to take it off when the playground is not being used as it could cause heat or rain damage if it is left out for too long, doing this will help to maintain it for a better outcome. Also when you have a covering installed it is important not to cover the whole playground with it as heat can get trapped underneath it making it dangerous to play under and it will damage the cover.
Add Some Water Elements
Adding water elements can be a great way of keeping the playground cool, you can add sprinklers, mini pools, or fountains; these all help to decrease the temperature of playground equipment making it safer for children to freely play. They can also help to cool kids down if they are out on a hot day, they can be entertainment for children as you can have many different water toys for them to play with. However, it is very important that you are regularly changing the water to make sure it doesn’t get mold around the playground or mosquitoes breeding in them.
To summarize, there are several ways to keep a playground cool during the summer, including providing shade, installing water features, using cool surfaces, improving ventilation, and adjusting schedules. By implementing these strategies, you can create a comfortable and enjoyable environment for children to play in during the hot summer months.