Managers of Klyde Warren Park in Dallas say they will inspect the walking paths around the children’s water area after a 20-month-old girl received 2nd-degree burns to her feet.
Shayna Dyson said her barefooted daughter Avery stepped onto the path Tuesday and was burned within seconds.
"She was just screaming, crying, running, trying to get away,” Dyson said. "And it looked like it had just melted the bottoms of her feet off."
Dyson rushed her daughter to nearby Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors put antibiotic cream on her feet and bandaged them.
"It's awful," Dyson said. "There's nothing you can do. I felt helpless. She was in a lot of pain. She was screaming, you know, the whole way to the hospital.”
Avery will not be able to walk for several days while her injuries heal, Dyson said.
A manager of the private foundation that runs the city-owned park promised to investigate what happened.
"We'll be checking it tomorrow,” Celia Barshop, vice president of business affairs, said on Tuesday. “We want to maintain a clean, safe and active environment. This is the first incident of its kind."
Barshop said she was perplexed how the incident happened considering 800,000 people have visited the park, which is located above the Woodall Rogers Freeway, since it opened in Oct., 2012.
Many other children have run without shoes in that same area without being injured and Tuesday was not one of the hottest days of the summer, Barshop noted.
Dyson said she hopes no other children are injured.
"I just want people to know those areas are extremely hot,” she said.
Park leaders said they reached out to the manufacturer of the playground surface as soon as they heard the report on the girl's injuries to see if they had similar situations in other installations.
"We want to make sure if there were extenuating circumstances, if the blisters were discovered at the park, or it all transpired here,” said Barshop. “I was very concerned both as a park manager and a parent that we weren't notified when the incident happened immediately.”
Landscape Structures responded Wednesday afternoon with the following statement:
Child safety is extremely important to us. Most importantly, we would like to express our concern for the injured child. This type of surfacing has been installed throughout the United States and internationally, in areas with extremely hot conditions, and this is the first reported incident of which we’re aware. Outdoor surfacing, just like other materials with outdoor exposure like plastics, vinyl, and steels can be conductors of the sun’s heat. Klyde Warren Park estimates 800,000 people have used the park and have never had a burn injury.