HOW hot will artificial turf get in Los Gatos!?

The above image is from a non-local mom's Twitter post.
However, a Los Gatos mom we spoke to 
shared that her son experienced burns 
on the Los Gatos High School synthetic turf field .

Are you familiar with heat issues that come with artificial turf?  Artificial turf, even with plant-based infill, gets HOT. 

In the 2020-2021 schoolyear, Los Gatos had 77 days above 80 degrees.  

Based on data we collected from a local park, on a sunny, 80-degree Fahrenheit day, artificial turf with cork infill was 110 degrees!

And it could actually get hotter than that. Check out these datapoints captured by others.  

How would you like your 6-year-old playing soccer on a field that's 125 degrees when the air temperature was only 84 degrees? That was the experience of the 6-year-olds in Rockwood School District.

And how about when it's not such a mild day? On a 97-degree Fahrenheit day, an artificial turf field with plant-based infill could run 140 degrees!

Need help understanding what it means for your child's skin to be in contact with a surface that hot?

Climate change is likely to make fields even hotter, and on more days.  

Heat-island effect radiates to nearby classrooms, adjoining property, spectators, and endangers perimeter trees.  

Natural grass is usually near or below ambient temperature and thanks to evapotranspiration behaves like nature's air conditioner.  A single high-school-sized baseball field provides up to 70 tons of air conditioning!  

Where do our kids go to escape the heat of the asphalt at noon if we take away the cool grass?  Even when the turf is not unsafely hot, the elevated temps may just be plain miserable at lunch and PE for students and staff.  

A super-heated surface for athletic exertion is not wise.  

Young children are closest to the hot surface, least capable of body-temperature regulation, and least able to recognize their own heat distress--- or advocate for themselves in such cases.  

Solutions to hot artificial turf include mandated water breaks, watering the plastic to provide 15 minutes of relief before the temp rebounds, or suspending field use entirely on days when it's hot enough to burn users. The need to suspend field use or water plastic partly defeats the purposes of artificial turf. 

Or LGUSD could simply wash their hands of responsibility by posting a sign like this...