As temperatures continue to climb, Banner Health is reminding the community to be safe. Doctors report an increase in contact burns and pavement burns during the summer months as temperatures consistently remain in the triple digits. 

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Dr. Patrick Godwin, emergency room physician and emergency department medical director at Banner Ocotillo Medical Center in Chandler, says that the hotter it gets, the more severe the burns become from individuals either falling or passing out. 

“We see serious pavement burns once a week throughout the summer, if not more,” Dr. Godwin noted. “Those who have grown up in Phoenix or have been here a long time have likely experienced how quickly the soles of your feet can burn by walking barefoot. It’s not uncommon for us to see children with blistered feet from walking barefoot, either.”  

Dr. Godwin said that pavement can typically be 40 to 60 degrees hotter than the actual outside temperature. For example, on a 100-degree day, the pavement could be between 140 to 160 degrees. 

“Skin can burn in two minutes at 125 degrees, and within a minute at 130 degrees,” Dr. Godwin explained.  

In addition to pavement, Dr. Godwin said artificial grass and pavers found around pools can also be extremely hot and cause burns, too.  

Dr. Godwin said it’s also important to be mindful that as the temperature spikes, shoes made of plastic or certain synthetics may not withstand the extreme pavement temperatures. He suggests shoes made of more durable material in the summer, and that closed-toed shoes may provide more protection.  

If you witness someone fall or pass out on the ground, Dr. Godwin shares advice on how to help. 

“Try to remove them from the hot pavement as soon as possible and rinse any areas of the body affected with cold water,” Dr. Godwin explained. “If the burn is severe, seek immediate medical attention. If the burn is being treated at home, place a sterile dressing on it and treat with anti-bacterial cream.”