Burns From Paving Roads And Sidewalks Are A Growing Problem

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Burns From Paving Roads And Sidewalks Are A Growing Problem
Burns From Paving Roads And Sidewalks Are A Growing Problem

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Burns from paving roads and sidewalks are a growing problem

Doctors from the University of Nevada warn about one of the dangers that arise during the summer heat, namely burns from contact with hot road surfaces. Their recent study shows that it is not uncommon for people to go to the hospital in hot weather with severe burns caused by hot roads and sidewalks.

Burns from paving roads and sidewalks are a growing problem
Burns from paving roads and sidewalks are a growing problem

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Doctors from the University of Nevada warn about one of the dangers that arise during the summer heat, namely burns from contact with hot road surfaces. Their recent research shows that people often end up in the hospital in hot weather with severe burns from the hot sidewalk.

The scientists published the results of their work, based on a study of data from their university's burn center, in the Journal of Burn Care and Research. During the five-year study period, they found 173 cases of roadside burns. By comparing the weather information with the date the burns were recorded, the authors also found that the vast majority (88%) of cases occurred when it was at least 35 degrees Celsius outside. If the temperature rose to 40.5 degrees Celsius, then the risk of burns from the road surface increased many times.

While such incidents represent only a small fraction of the total number of burn injuries requiring medical attention, the authors say they are a constant concern in hot climates.

Anyone who has walked on hot asphalt in the summer should know that road surfaces and sidewalks absorb heat well from the sun, which means the sidewalk can be much hotter than the surrounding air. "At extremely high temperatures, the road surface can get so hot that it causes second degree burns in a matter of seconds," the authors noted.

In some cases, the authors say, the burns are exacerbated by additional trauma from a road accident, such as friction burns that peel off the skin. Scientists also mention cases when people who fell due to a stroke, seizures or from drug intoxication could not get up from the hot asphalt. Patients with diabetes at the last stage also get burns, since their nerves are less sensitive to temperature.

According to the authors, victims of road accidents, the elderly and the disabled, and young people who are often unaware of the dangers of hot road surfaces are the most at risk of burns from the road surface. Even dogs often get paw burns from hot pavement. The authors also recall that climate change and an increase in the number of hot days will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the number of such burns.

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