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Arizona Burn Center issues warning about dangers of excessive heat

June 19, 2017
MIHS
Contact: Michael Murphy 602-568-0010

Doctors with MIHS’s Arizona Burn Center today issued warnings about the dangers of excessive summer heat as Arizona prepares for record breaking temperatures.

Burn Center Director Dr. Kevin Foster said second and third degree burns from hot asphalt and concrete, playground equipment, car and truck interiors and surfaces, and scalding water from outdoor hoses are common when outdoor temperatures exceed 100 degrees.

“Young children are particularly vulnerable,” Dr. Foster said. “Not only is their skin more sensitive, but they haven’t learned how to remove themselves from the hot surface or object. Though they might be uncomfortable on the hot surface, they don’t understand why they are hurting or that they need to move.”

Dr. Foster said the warning about hot pavement and concrete also applies to pets. These surfaces can remain dangerously hot even after the sun goes down and could burn a dog or cat’s paws.

With temperatures hitting dangerous levels, Dr. Foster offered tips to keep kids safe:

  • Wear closed toed shoes while playing.
  • Limit sun exposure to avoid burned skin.
  • Test playground equipment with the back of your hand before allowing children to play. Plastic and rubber can heat up to dangerous levels.
  • Let outdoor hoses run until the water cools.
  • Always keep children away from outdoor grills.
  • Avoid using kerosene or gasoline to start a grill or “get the flames going.”
  • Keep an eye on your child or pet at all times and look for signs of distress.
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended in a car.

If your child is burned, apply cool water to the area for several minutes and immediately consult a physician. Most burns require medical attention.

About Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS)
Located in Phoenix, Ariz., Maricopa Integrated Health System has a proud tradition of being both the community safety net health care system, with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved and Arizona’s only public teaching hospital. MIHS consists of Maricopa Medical, the only Level I Trauma Center in Arizona verified by the American College of Surgeons to care for both adults and children, Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern United States, MIHS’s McDowell Healthcare Center, which is the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, the Arizona Children’s Center, two behavioral health centers, and 13 neighborhood Family Health Centers. To learn more about MIHS, please visit www.mihs.org.

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