Pavement burns can happen even before it’s 100 degrees, UNLV study shows

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A study of 173 burn cases caused by hot pavement should serve as a warning to Las Vegas when the temperature hits 100 degrees.

But the 5-year review of data by a group of UNLV Medicine surgeons tells us burns can happen even when the average daily temperature is the 90s. Watching the high temperature for the day might not be enough to know when burns can happen.

When temperatures soar over 100 degrees, pavement in Southern Nevada can get hot enough to cause second-degree burns in a matter of seconds. Pavements absorb radiant energy and are hotter than ambient temperatures.

Sometimes burns happen when children just don’t know how hot the pavement gets. But the UNLV study also notes that accident victims who are thrown to the ground and people suffering from other medical or neurological conditions are prone to pavement burns.

In the study, doctors found that 79 percent of pavement burns occurred when the average air temperature was 90 degrees or higher, and 19 percent of the burns occurred when it was 100 degrees or higher.

In 92 percent of the burns, the maximum temperature for the day was 100 degrees or higher.

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