NO BAREFOOT IN THIS PARK: The newly renovated playground next to the Mooloolaba Surf Club has no shade and the new rubber mat flooring is claimed to burn children’s bare feet.
NO BAREFOOT IN THIS PARK: The newly renovated playground next to the Mooloolaba Surf Club has no shade and the new rubber mat flooring is claimed to burn children’s bare feet. Brett Wortman

Concerns raised on revamped park mats

THIS is the Sunshine Coast's newly refurbished play park, at one if its prime holiday destination that gets too hot in the middle of the day for children to play barefoot on.

The Sunshine Coast Council has finished a $49,000 upgrade of the play park at the Mooloolaba Esplanade, which included lacing the "degraded dark bark" with a new "playmate Softfall under-surfacing".

But it has no shade structure and in the middle of the day, a Caloundra mother says is too hot for her child to play in.

When Tani Alderton first saw the mats she thought they "they looked great and felt bouncy".

"My three-year-old daughter had a chuckle about it, until we took our shoes off and it was scorching hot," Ms Alderton said.

"When I got there a couple of mums and their kids were having lunch under the slide in the middle of the park as that was the only place you could find shade."

The Cancer Council Queensland urged local and state governments to increase shade coverings at parks for protection from the sun's harmful UV rays, which can cause skin cancer.

The council responded "most" of its 328 play parks across the region had shade structures or natural shade.

A spokesman said this site had existing shade trees which "protect much of the site from the sun".

"Installing shade sails at this location would not be 100% effective in providing shade due to height requirements," he said.

"The structure would also be exposed to high coastal winds that increase the risk of potential damage and potential public safety hazards."

The Daily visited the park yesterday and the two children playing in the middle of the day had shoes on.

One dad said he preferred the new mats as in the past his children came home "dirty".

But Ms Alderton said she preferred her daughter to run around barefoot, and on grass or sand. The council spokesman said the new under-surfacing complied with "strict Australian standards" and had received positive public feedback.

 

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