By Macy Jenkins

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Parents in West Sacramento worried about tire mulch at Delta Gardens Park. And in the summer heat, they’re concerned that mulch made of recycled tires could be putting their children at risk.

“We’ve always wanted them to replace it,” said Cindy Huerta, who lives across the street.

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When the temperature reaches the triple-digit mark, people at Delta Garden Park become scarce. But Huerta thinks it could be the dingy blue mulch keeping the kids at bay.

“It would burn the baby’s hands!” she said.

Huerta told used to bring her four children to the park to play, including her 12-year-old Jacob.

“It gets on your hands, gets all over your clothes,” he said. “Makes you really filthy even though you like weren’t expecting it.”

“They loved the park, they would just come home and their brand new shoes would be ruined,” Huerta said. “Can’t get it out of their clothing!”

But she’s also worried playing on cut-up tires baking in the heat could be a health risk. Dr. Arthur Jey at Sutter Medical Center agreed.

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“It’s really toxic, and if it gets into their bellies, they can get really sick,” he said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has recommendations for parents when it comes to their children playing on tire mulch:

  1. Don’t put it in your mouth
  2. Avoid eating or drinking near the mulch
  3. Limit playtime on hot days
  4. Clean hands and toys after touching it

“It’s good that they’re going to replace it if it’s something that’s better than what’s in there,” Huerta said. “It would be nice if it was just solid.”

We asked West Sacramento Deputy City Manager Jon Robinson if the city had a plan to replace the mulch but he didn’t have an answer. But in a post by West Sacramento Parks and Recreation Superintendent Sam Cooney, he said: “We will be removing the hot rubber mulch and replacing it with wood mulch.”

Still, that isn’t happening until September. Until then, Dr. Jey says it’s up to parents to watch the kids closely, especially as rubber mulch continues to heat up under the summer sun.

“If you do go to the playground, make sure you wash them and make sure they don’t eat these things,” Dr. Jey said.

At the time this story was posted, CBS13 hadn’t heard back from the City of West Sacramento.

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But according to Cooney’s post, he’s looking volunteers to help remove the mulch in September.