With temperatures soaring into the triple digits around the metro on Thursday, Dawna Wright thought back to Memorial Day this year.
Wright headed to John Anderson Park in Grandview that day with her four-year-old daughter, who was excited to get to the playground.
However, their day at the splash park suddenly changed when her daughter ran to the slide.
“She saw a bunch of children playing on the play equipment and she kept wanting to go over there," Wright explained. “We went to go back to the water and she ran from me and went on the slide. That’s when she was instantly burned.”
Pictures posted to Wright’s Facebook profile showed the second-degree burns her daughter suffered.
Wright said the injuries brought shock to her.
“It was frightening. It was sad and scary. I felt so bad for her,” she explained. “You could tell that the skin was just gone. It just completely took her skin away.”
41 Action News used a laser temperature gun on Thursday to test the heat levels on the slide.
In the evening, the surface of the slide was measured to be more than 150 degrees in the sun.
Wright said she has faced criticism from other parents for not monitoring her daughter more at the park.
Despite signs advising proper attire on the playground and a warning of possible hot equipment, Wright said the injury could happen to any child.
“I just assumed that it was safe because all these children were playing and they were playing just fine,” she explained. “Everybody says, ‘That wouldn’t be me, that wouldn’t be my child. I could never let this happen to my child.’ It could happen to you. It really could.”
News of the incident served as a wake-up call for other parents at the park on Thursday trying to escape the heat.
“We have to be so careful to everything nowadays in this heat and especially on the playground equipment where the sun is just beating down,” explained mother Rebekah Singh. “I never would have thought about that until now so I will definitely be more aware.”
On Thursday, 41 Action News spotted the same slide closed in the evening and its entrance blocked with boards.
Almost a month after the incident, Wright said her daughter still has a scar and some discoloration from the burns.
Moving forward, she hoped other parents would keep their children safe.
“I just hope and pray that no other baby gets burned like that because it’s not fun at all,” she said.
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