Management of Pediatric Pavement Burns

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Burn Care and Research





First page number:


Last page number:



Pavement burns are common in a dry high heat climate. This study reviews the etiology, management, and outcome pavement burns in children. All patients age <18 who sustained contact burns from hot pavement from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2019 were reviewed for mechanism, medical history, treatment course, and outcome. The high ambient temperature on each date and zip code of each injury were extracted from Weather Underground ( In this study, 45 patients met criteria and were reviewed 27 patients (60%) were male. Average age was 3.29 years (SD 0.69), made up two discrete age groups: age 3 years and under (n = 40, 89%) and older patients 14 years of age and up (n = 5, 11%). Thirty-eight patients (84%) had no known medical history. All had second-degree burns and one patient (2%) also had third-degree burns. Mean TBSA was 2.5% (SD 1.4%, range 0.75%-5.5%). Burn etiology included 31 patients (69%) who were walking barefoot on pavement, six (13%) who fell onto pavement, one (2%) seizure, and other/unknown etiology for the remaining seven patients (16%). Thirty patients (67%) had injuries on the plantar aspect of the bilateral feet, two (4%) to bilateral palms of hands, four (9%) to other parts of upper extremities, and 10 (22%) to other parts of lower extremities. Thirty-four patients (76%) were managed without any hospitalization. Those that were hospitalized had an average length of stay of 2.72 days (range 1-9 days). All burns were managed nonoperatively with topical therapy alone. Thirty-four patients (76%) were managed initially with silver sulfadiazene alone and six (13%) with bacitracin alone. Aquacel dressing was utilized in 10 patients at a follow-up visit (22%). Three patients (6.7%) were treated with collagenase enzyme therapy at some point in their care. One patient developed a superficial infection requiring oral antibiotic therapy. There were no mortalities in this group. High ambient temperature on date and location of each injury was 102.1°F (SD 5.4°F, range 89-111°F). Of the 30 patients that continued to follow up in clinic the average time to the burn being 95% healed was 10.50 days (SD 8.97 days, range 2-40 days). Pavement burns in children are partial thickness and are safely managed with topical therapy alone with good outcomes. Patients age 3 and under are at high risk.

Controlled Subject

Burns and scalds; Pavements; Children


Dermatology | Pediatrics




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit

UNLV article access

Search your library