As the weather warms up, kids spend more time outside. Even in this age of tablets and smartphones, with adults constantly shaking their heads about how much time kids spend staring at screens, playgrounds tend to be swarming with kids once springtime hits. However, when spring gives way to summer, and the temperatures soar, that can lead to some rather serious problems.
How serious? Well, as Peaceful Playgrounds
points out, kids tend to absorb more heat than adults do, and they sweat less in the process. So if a kid is out running around in the heat, climbing stairs, swinging on swings, and throwing themselves down a slide, they're going to heat up a lot faster than they would if they were a decade or so older. As a result, kids are much more prone to cramps, heat stroke, and other negative effects of high heat. Playground equipment can reach temperatures of more than 120 degrees during particularly hot weather. With this in mind, it might seem like keeping your kids inside during the summer months is a better alternative than letting them go to the playground.
Of course, there is a way to help keep kids and playgrounds cool when the heat starts to rise: misting fans.
A Way To Keep Cool, Without Going Inside
Most people have seen misting fans on restaurant patios, theme parks or fairs, and have likely been quite grateful they were the area was cool. However, the idea of setting these fans up near (or even as part of) a playground might seem like a novel idea. After all, won't all that water just create hazards of a different kind by making equipment wet?
Misting fans work similarly to sweat, but not by making everything around them wet. In fact, the water spray is so fine that you'll only get wet if you're about six inches in front of the fan. Which makes sense, otherwise they'd ruin all the food on the patio of restaurants that use them for cooling purposes. Instead of just soaking everything down with water, a misting fan releases a fine spray of droplets into the air. These droplets evaporate almost instantly, and that evaporation sucks the energy out of the surrounding air in the form of heat. With less energy in the air, the temperature near the misting fan drops. And as the fan blows, the cool air moves out in an arc, spreading over a wider area. So as long as the fan keeps misting, the area around these misting fans
stays cooler... often by a dozen degrees or more! Which is impressive given that most fans won't use more than a few gallons of water every hour, and it can be the difference between having fun at the playground and needing to go see the nurse because you got overheated.
Make Going Outside Chill Again
We're always saying how we wish kids would go outside and play rather than staying inside, but it's important that they do so safely. It's why we make sure to put on plenty of sunscreen, and why we make sure they drink enough water before shooing
them out the door. But if soaring temperatures are a genuine risk, then it's important to adopt some method for combating them in order to make sure playgrounds remain a safe haven. Even if they aren't a solution that needs to be left in place year-round, misting fans can have quite an impact when they're needed.