Health & Wellness

Heat wave danger: Baby burned by scalding water from outdoor garden hose

As a dangerous heat wave envelops large parts of the country, doctors are warning about the risk of burns from a source you may not have considered: a water hose baking in the sun.

A 9-month-old boy in San Tan Valley, Arizona, was accidentally scalded last month when scorching-hot water came out of an outdoor garden hose as his mom began to fill his baby pool, KNXV-TV reported.

“It’s heartbreaking. It is. It sucks,” Dominique Woodger told the station. "All of it was peeling. He had blisters all over the right side."

The boy received second-degree burns to about one-third of his body. Doctors told Woodger he will recover.

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Water sitting in a garden hose that's exposed to summer sun can reach up to 190 degrees, said Dr. Kevin Foster, director of the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix.

"It doesn't reach boiling, but it does get almost there. It's about as hot as coffee coming out of the pot," Foster told TODAY. "A burn happens almost instantaneously at that temperature."

Children are particularly vulnerable because they tend to be outside and playing with water and hoses, plus their skin is thinner than that of adults so their burns are deeper, Foster added.

He warned that second- and third-degree burns caused by scalding water from outdoor hoses are common when temperatures rise above 100 degrees. Many communities will see the mercury easily break through that threshold this week.

Some 91 million people in 24 states are affected as a "heat dome" trapping hot air and humidity will make parts of the country feel like it's 115 degrees, TODAY's Al Roker said on Thursday.

Excessive heat warnings and heat advisories were in effect for much of the Plains, Midwest and southern states, the National Weather Service noted. The heat will spread eastward by this weekend.

"Be very cautious if you must do outdoor activities here during the afternoon and evening," the agency cautioned.

RELATED: Heat wave: How to stay safe as temperatures sizzle

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If you're dealing with extremely hot weather, try to avoid having water hoses outside at all, if possible, Foster advised.

If you do have to have them outside, make sure you drain them of water first. Or use a hose wheel so that water is emptied every time, he added.

If someone is hurt, burns that are smaller than the palm of your hand and are pink are probably OK to manage at home. Anything larger or deeper than that needs to be seen by a doctor, Foster said.

For immediate treatment, use cool water, not ice, to soothe the pain and help limit the extent of the burn.

RELATED: Never ice a burn: What you need to know for summer skin woes

In addition to the water hose burns Foster sees each summer season, the Arizona Burn Center also often treats people who have burned the soles of their feet while walking barefoot or have touched a metal object.

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