A small boy was left with second-degree burns to his feet from playground equipment heated by the sun.

David "Noah" Jones, 2, needed hospital treatment after climbing on metal rails at the Wesley Community Centre in Mt Roskill on Tuesday.

His mother, Ngaio Abrahamson, said that at midday, when the temperature was around 27C, she found her son screaming in pain.

"My friend heard him screaming and saw him standing on the ground and he was standing like he wanted to lift his feet off the ground. He kept saying, 'It's hot! It's hot!'

"When I got there a minute later the skin was hanging off his feet."

She said she did not see what her son was climbing on, but believes it was a climbing frame with metal bars.

"One of his feet is more badly burned than the other. So he must have put one foot on, then the other one on and then realised how hot it was and jumped off ... It was just something that you don't expect to happen."

She cooled his feet with ice from a nearby shop until the paramedics arrived and gave him painkillers.

"We were taken to Middlemore Hospital because they have a good burns unit ... after he was assessed they wanted to wait for the painkillers to wear off to see how much pain he was in then because they weren't sure how deep the burn was."

Noah's feet are in bandages and he will not be able to walk for two weeks.

"Just before he tried to stand on his feet, but screamed again. He won't be able to walk on them while they're healing."

Ms Abrahamson said she wants to warn other parents.

"It's horrific ... I just want to get it out there that this can happen on playground equipment."

A second-degree burn means the burn has penetrated through the outer layer of the skin. It can lead to blistering and usually takes at least two weeks to heal.

Safekids New Zealand director Ann Weaver said each summer her organisation saw a case of a child being burned by playground equipment.

"But we've never seen someone burnt by climbing rails. There have been examples where kids have been severely burnt on a slide, and needed hospital treatment. They are always kids aged between 18 months and two years.

"Parents should remember that children's skin is thinner and will burn more quickly. If the surface is 60C, it takes one second to burn."

The council was looking into the incident and would consider adding warning signs.