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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Parents of kids looking to have outdoor fun in the Tennessee Valley have to keep the heat in mind, with temperatures consistent with the hottest the area has seen in 2021.

“You know I want (my daughter) to have a good summer, but it’s real hard with COVID and everything, getting out,” Kimberly Daugette of Union Grove says. “It’s just made us parents nervous about everything.”

At California Street Park in Huntsville, a metal playground slide measured at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, Tuesday afternoon when it was sunny and 94 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

“I don’t want her to get burned, you know? It’s not safe. I’m surprised they (City of Huntsville) still have slides like this,” Daugette says.

Plastic equipment isn’t much cooler in the sun, with a plastic slide still absorbing heat reaching over 120 degrees.

It’s also why the Centers for Disease Control and National Weather Service stress that hydration, sunblock and close-toed shoes can make a serious difference in staying safe – whether you’re young or not.

The CDC points out that an easy way to see if it’s safe for parents to let kids outside freely is simply touching the playground equipment for themselves. If it’s too hot for parents it’s too hot for kids.