Nevadans are experiencing an excessive heat wave, which brings with it the burn dangers for unprotected feet and hands. The Burn and Reconstructive Center of Sunrise Hospital is offering residents and visitors sound guidance to avoid hot pavement and other dangers.

“Environmentally, we have excessive heat warnings throughout the summer with temperatures creeping over 100 degrees, often 110-plus,” explains Jay Coates, DO, medical director of the Burn and Reconstructive Center of Sunrise Hospital in partnership with Burn Centers of America, the largest burn network in the world. “One of the biggest threats to individuals is just the ground and pavement; black asphalt can get to 170-175 degrees – that kind of heat you can liken to cooking a medium done steak.”

Coates says the biggest mistake most people make is taking a short walk across the hot pavement barefoot. “One might think it’s only a few steps and, if I make a quick dash, no harm can come. In reality, they get caught halfway between with no quick escape route or relief and they burn off the bottoms of their feet,” Coates says. “This affects people who are taking walks, riding bikes, being around or near a swimming pool, anything that could involve an accidental spill, causing a fall to hit the pavement.” He warns those couple of minutes on the hot asphalt could lead to second or third-degree burns.

The Burn and Reconstructive Center at Sunrise Hospital offers these burn prevention and heat safety tips:

  • Protect your hands with coverings on car seats and door handles as these objects can heat up fast in the open sun;
  • Be cognitive of your environment, especially around swimming pools – if there’s a nice, cool deck receiving a lot of water coverage, you should be fine, but watch for open, dry concrete areas around a pool which can be extremely hot and has potential to cause burns;
  • Make sure you have good shoes, secured to your feet when walking across the hot pavement;
  • Park your car in the shade or covered area whenever possible;
  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a car, not even for a minute to prevent heatstroke and even death; and
  • As the environment is extremely dry, avoid outdoor grilling or fireworks, especially in the mountainous areas where there is much dry vegetation.

The capability within the Burn & Reconstructive Center of Sunrise Hospital includes treatment for all adult and pediatric burn types (chemical, electrical, friction/road rash, frostbite, inhalation, radiation and thermal), treatment for hand and upper extremity injuries, and skin and soft tissue disorder treatment.

Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital offer high quality, patient-centered healthcare to the residents of Southern Nevada, its surrounding region, and the millions of visitors that come to Las Vegas. Sunrise Hospital serves as Nevada’s largest acute care facility and Level II Trauma Center, which is located just minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip. Occupying the same campus is Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Nevada’s largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital. Together, both facilities offer a full range of services for both children and adults. To learn more about The Burn and Reconstructive Center of Sunrise Hospital, visit their website.