When you hear the term “summer burn prevention,” you probably think of sunscreen, beach umbrellas, and sun hats. While these items are essential for protecting yourself from harmful UVB rays, sunburns aren’t the only way to get your skin scorched when it’s hot out. To ensure you and your loved ones steer clear of painful burns while enjoying the season, here are some other common summertime risks to watch out for.
From metal slides and swings to black rubber mats and monkey bars, playground equipment can get extremely hot when sitting in direct sunlight. According to the National Program for Playground Safety, these items can reach temperatures as high as 189°F, which is hot enough to burn a child’s skin in less than three seconds. Luckily, it’s not hard to avoid overheated equipment if you take the necessary precautions.
-Touch-test equipment before letting children play on it.
-Choose playgrounds that are in the shade and keep your own backyard playground equipment in the shade.
-Be especially mindful of materials that easily absorb heat, such as metal, rubber, and dark-colored plastics.
-Dress children in long pants to protect their legs.
Like playground equipment, pavement is another unsuspecting surface that can cause serious summertime burns. During heat waves and in areas where temperatures frequently rise above 100°F, hot pavement can create second-degree burns within a matter of seconds.
To avoid injuring your feet, always wear shoes or flip-flops when walking on paved surfaces, especially asphalt. And don’t forget about your pets! Fido’s paws are just as susceptible to burns from scorching hot sidewalk, so try to keep your dog in the shade and take him on walks in the early morning or late evenings whenever possible.
Most of us know we need to use caution when operating a lawn mower, but getting cut by the machine’s sharp blades isn’t the only hazard to be mindful of. Refueling your lawn mower while it’s still hot can start a fire, so it’s important to let the engine cool completely before adding any fuel or oil.
Regular maintenance is also a must to avoid overheating, which can cause burns if skin comes in contact with the machine. Make sure to store your lawn mower in a cool, shaded area that’s far away from gas tanks and other flammable items.
Being mindful of these easy-to-overlook burn risks — and following a few basic summer safety tips — will help ensure you and your family stay safe all season long!