Shade in Parks

By: Sarah Goebel Email
By: Sarah Goebel Email

As temperatures heat up so does the playground equipment at many of the area's parks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, temperatures on playground equipment can get high enough to cause serious burn injuries in a matter of seconds. Reports say there have been incidents where children suffered second and third degree burns when they sat on metal stairs, decks or slides.

Parents in Bowling Green say the lack of shade in parks is contributing to the problem and they want something done about it.

"Some of the swings are in black and that draws the sun, and the children don't have on very many clothes in the summer and some of them very uncomfortable. They'll say that's hot Nana or too hot, ' said Jeanette Johnson a concerned grandma

A daily trip to the park isn't uncommon for Johnson and her granddaughter Sydney. Johnson said they usually go to Covington Woods because it's smaller and more shaded than other parks.

"Some of them are so hot especially Basil Griffin. A lot of times you can't go from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the afternoon because it's so hot and there's no covering," Johnson said. "Some kind of shade, awning, or cover would be great."

Jay Daugherty from Bowling Green Parks and Rec said they plant about 500 trees throughout Bowling Green a year, including in parks. Daugherty also said they can only plant the trees around the perimeter of the playground.

"Trees aren't' planted directly in the mulch area for a number of reasons. One of them is that they won't survive," Daugherty said.

Daugherty also said other reasons trees can't be too close to the playground is because of vandalism and safety issues.

"To prevent any tree limbs from interfering with the use of the equipment or from creating an unsafe situation where a child may attempt climbing from a tree onto the playground equipment."

Daugherty went on said this is the first time he's ever heard about this concern and understands the complaint.

"I will myself will go out and inspect some of our playground locations and see if more planting can be done."

Daugherty said if more trees can't be planted he'll try to find other alternatives to covering the playgrounds so people like Johnson and her granddaughter can continue to enjoy playing in the park.

"We're glad we have them. We don't want to be negative about them, but if we can improve something for the little children that would be great," Johnson said

The CPSC said one of the easiest ways to protect your children is to check the equipment before allowing them to play on it. To read the CPSC's complete report click here.

Johnson said other concerns parents have about the lack of shade at parks is kids' are susceptible to sun burns, and for more information on general burns click here.

If you have a suggestion of how to prevent these problems you can contact Parks and Rec at (270)-393-3249.


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