Staying Safe with Bonfires and Backyard Barbeques

Summer is back and so are the bonfires and backyard barbeques. They can be a great way to have some fun, but itís always important to be careful when you’re around open flames. 

“We see a fair share, frankly speaking, of touching the grill, touching the surface, food falling over. All of those are pretty common occurrences, unfortunately,” said Purva Grover, MD, emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. 

She said while adults might be the ones cooking on the grill or building the fire, parents also need to keep a close eye on their kids. She said it can be very easy for them to accidentally grab onto something hot or get too close to the flames. 

The same advice applies for adolescents. They may be tempted to throw random stuff into the fire, which can be incredibly dangerous. 

According to safety experts, trash, plastic, cardboard, wet wood and accelerants like gasoline or lighter fluid should never be used.

“I usually recommend that the parents actually have a pile of things that can be thrown into the fire and can be used in the fire, especially when we talk about the adolescent age group because we have seen some pretty nasty fire-related injuries and heat-related injuries,” said Dr. Grover.

She said if you suffer a major burn, seek medical care right away. However, if it appears to be more minor, run it under cool water and wrap it in gauze. Never put ice on the burn, which can further damage the tissue.

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