How Hot is a Shadow?
With temperatures rising already, spring seems sprung and summer must be close. After finding scald range temperatures on the playground, I armed myself with the laser and headed out to play school nurse and put my thermometer test to everything I could think of on the playground. The results seem to be consistent with previous inspections. The weather this day was somewhat cooler, the weather forecast on the radio enroute said it was 75 degrees. Wonderful weather to move the classroom outdoors and have lessons on the playground. Be careful where you set the students, or burnt bottom issues may overcome learning. Here are the laser guided temperatures from yesterday's test:
Sidewalk, concrete- non painted enroute to playground 101F
Wooden picnic bench adjacent to playground 116F
Wooden picnic table in sun 124F
under shade canopy 74F
Wood playground surfacing in sun 109.7F
in shade 72.6F
Border timber around playground in sun 135F
Wooden Ramp into playground 125F
PVC Coated deck on play structure in sun 108F
in shade 76.9F
Plastic Slide in sun 119F
Metal Climber 93F
HDPE (plastic) Rock Panel Climber in sun 112F
in shade 84F
Spiral Slide in sun 129F
in shade 74.5F
Wood playground surfacing in sun 125F
in shade 70.3F
Considering we are in a geographical climate where we run our airconditioners at home year around, perhaps we should move play time to the wee small hours of the morning, like 2AM. I would still like someone at the state department of "we take care of the children" folks to tell me how to orient a slide so that it is not placed in direct sunlight. Perhaps the wording of state daycare standards should suggest not allowing children play on the playground in a dress or short pants? Perhaps a sign posted by a slide: "Although it may only be 75 degrees out here, your child will burn their bottom on a 129 degree slide." Well, maybe those aren't good ideas. The intent and spirit are there though.
I remember as a child seeing a little, old lady walking to the bus stop with an umbrella. How silly, I thought. It isn't raining. Maybe she doesn't know it isn't raining. Maybe she lost her sunglasses? No, mom and grandma were much smarter than I knew back then. It's cooler in the shade!
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