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Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore measures the surface temperature of a plastic slide at a local park at 161 degrees. According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology, at 118 degrees, human skin can sustain first-degree burns, and a second-degree burn injury can occur at a temperature of 131 degrees. 

Before your little ones go down the slide at the playground, it’s a good idea to check how hot it is to prevent burns.

Last week, Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore measured the surface temperature of a plastic slide at a local park at 161 degrees. It was about 3 p.m. and the outside temperature was 95 degrees.

Slides, swings, monkey bars and even concrete can all cause some serious burns, even when it isn’t excessively hot outside.

According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology, human skin begins to feel pain at a temperature of 111 degrees, such as hot bath water. 

At 118 degrees, human skin can sustain first-degree burns, and a second-degree burn injury can occur at a temperature of 131 degrees. 

Human skin is destroyed when temperatures reach 162 degrees.

WebMD suggests the following for those who have sustained a thermal burn:

• Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in a cool water until pain subsides.

• Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.

• Take over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

• Seek medical help if you see signs of infection, like increased pain, redness, swelling, fever or oozing.

• Call 911 if the burn penetrates all layers of skin, if the skin is charred or if the person is an infant or a senior.

 

Heat wave

According to AccuWeather, a change in the weather pattern is bringing about the season’s first heat wave.

A ridge of high pressure will position itself over Texas into early next week, allowing the hot air that has been baking the western United States to spill farther east into the southern Plains.

High temperatures are forecast to reach or exceed the 100-degree mark most day through Monday in these cities.

“Temperatures will rise slightly through the weekend in the Houston area, with highs peaking in the upper 90s to near 100 with AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures between 105-110 each afternoon,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Isaac Longley said.

Similar RealFeel temperatures can be expected throughout the entirety of the state through early next week.

“There will be little to no change in the overall weather pattern through early next week, so dry, hot and generally sunny weather will prevail,” Longley said.

The combination of scorching sunshine, moderately high humidity and temperatures some 5-10 degrees above normal will increase the risk for heat-related illness for those spending prolonged periods of time outdoors.

By Tuesday or Wednesday, the high pressure will shift back into the Four Corners region, allowing thunderstorms that erupt in the central Plains to dive southward and put an end to the heat wave in the southern Plains.

The heat relief may not last long as there are indications that more triple-digit temperatures may be in store next weekend or during the following week.

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Aaron Pitts reminds parents to never leave children or animals in their car.

“Remember, if it’s 95 degrees outside, temperatures inside that car can reach 115 in 10 minutes and 125 in 20 minutes,” he said. 

As heat wave continues, parents urged to use caution at playground

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