On This Page: This page is dedicated to sample photos of signage and advisories warning users of synthetic turf fields to guard against heat exhaustion due to the increase in the temperature of the microclimate of the field - surface and superjacent air. For coverage of Health, Heat Effect, and Warnings associated with the use of artifcial turf, readers are directed to go to pages thusly titled.
The following two signs are from Stafford, Virginia - Smith Lake Park's synthetic turf field. The signs impose use restrictions, and include a heat warning sign by the Stafford County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities (February 2013).
Town of Ridgefield Dept. of Health, RidgefieldConnecticut
Asphalt Green, New York City. Copyright: Geoff Croft/NY Parks Advocate, July 2008.
"This field can get hot on warm, sunny days."
"Always remember: To protect yourself from heat, drink lots of water, wear light and loose fitting clothes, always wear shoes, take breaks often, and exercise moderately. If you experience symptoms of heat related illness, such as dizziness, weakness, headache, vomiting or muscle cramps, move to a shaded area, drink water, rest and seek medical attention if you do not feel better."
Ridgefield, CT Story. In June 2009, Ridgefield, Connecticut had two artificial turf fields – one at the high school and the other at a middle school. Were it not for the work of a group of citizens, the town would have added three more turf fields to the landscape; the referendum on the project failed to carry in February 2008. The group, Ridgefielders for Grass Fields still felt it was necessary to continue building public awareness on the potential risks of the existing fields. So, several members of the group worked diligently with the First Selectmen, Selectwoman Masters and the Health Department to post warning signs at the existing fields.
Weston, MA Story. Late in March, 2008, the Public Health Director of Weston, Massachusetts, announced that she was working on a policy to monitor and inform the public of the high temperatures at the town’s turf field. The Board of Health was expected to vote on whether they will request that coaches monitor temperatures at certain intervals or that the town post warning signs of high temperatures on the field. Seehttp://www.synturf.org/heateffect.html (Item No. 14) and http://www.synturf.org/warnings.html (Item No. 10).
Natick’s Advisory. Prior to the graduation exercise at NatickHigh School, in Massachusetts, on 27 April 2012 Rose Bertucci, the principal at the high school wrote this in A Community Notice addressed to the Seniors and Parents:
Dear Parents and Seniors,
After a discussion with Central Administration and the Parks and Recreation Department, I have decided to change the Graduation Ceremony start time to 12 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. as previously published.
I was alerted to the fact that because the field is now a turf field, the temperature on the field from the ground to about your knee can rise to an uncomfortable temperature should it be a hot day. In other words, the field temperature would be approximately 12 degrees hotter than the actual air temperature. If the day turns out to be in the 80’s it could be very uncomfortable for anyone seated on the field. With this in mind, I have decided to move the time to 12 p.m.
Needham, MA Advisory. On 2 July 2009, Stephen Epstein, M.D., Chairman, Board of Health, and Gerald Rovner, President, Needham Exchange Club, Needham, Massachusetts, published a lettr in the press, in which he stated: “The Needham Health Department has been monitoring the field temperatures during hot, sunny days to let us know what to expect. For example, just before Memorial Day weekend, on a 90-degree day, the Memorial Park field temperature was 153 degrees at noon, 116 degrees at 4:15 p.m., but only 75 degrees at 7:30 p.m. Temperatures over 110 degrees raise the risk of heat-related illnesses. For this reason, if it is a hot, sunny day, we would encourage you to remain off the synthetic turf area at Memorial Park until around 5 p.m. the evening of the fireworks. The field should not pose any comfort issues, but use caution before letting small children sit or play on the surface if it still feels hot to the touch. The field was cool to the touch during this year’s NeedhamHigh School graduation, and we are not aware of any complaints of heat-related issues from that event.” Source: Stephen Epstein, M.D., Chairman, Board of Health and Gerald Rovner, President, Needham Exchange Club, “Needham fireworks back on July 3, but safety precautions necessary,” on WickedLocal.com, 2 July 2009, available at http://www.wickedlocal.com/needham/news/opinions/letters/x135735080/Letter-Needham-fireworks-back-on-July-3-but-synthetic-turf-at-Memorial-Park-makes-safety-precautions-necessary#relContent . SynTurf.org ref: http://www.synturf.org/heateffect.html (Item No. 37).
Westport, CT Advisory.On 4 August 2008, the Parks and Recreation Department of Westport, Connecticut, issued a heat advisory for the benefit of users of synthetic turf fields. The advisory stated: “The Parks and Recreation Department reminds all athletic field users that SAT [synthetic athletic turf] fields retain heat and in warm weather can be substantially hotter than grass fields. In supervising activities on SAT fields, coaches should assure players are well hydrated. Take frequent water breaks and have additional water available. Coaches should always be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in athletes and take appropriate first aid measures.” To prevent and/or combat the effects heat stress caused by turf fields, the Westport advisory recommended users and coaches and players to follow the guidelines issued by the American Red Cross. The text of the advisory is available here. SynTurf.org ref.: http://www.synturf.org/heateffect.html (Item No. 27).