Doctor shares tips for safe use of fire pits, barbecues and campfires
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, July 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Burn injuries increase in the summer as people gather around fire pits, campfires and outdoor grills, say burn experts. Among those most vulnerable to these seasonal fire hazards: children.
"Young children are among the most vulnerable and often get burned by putting their hands on the side of cooking grills," Dr. Richard Gamelli, director of the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill., said in a Loyola news release.
"The old adage of 'When you play with fire, you get burned' is true -- you must always be very serious and attentive when fire is involved. Injuries due to fire happen easily and fast, especially when children are involved or alcohol has been abused," added Gamelli.
"Children should be kept well away at all times from the cooking area and always be watched closely even after the cooking is done -- the grill is still hot," said Gamelli.
Campfires can also remain hot and smolder long after campers think it has been extinguished, Gamelli added. "At Loyola, we have had patients who got burned after contact with a log from the previous night's fire, thinking the fire was out," he said. "Fire can burn for hours after ignition, and the temperature can remain dangerously hot."
To avoid serious burns among children and adults during summer activities, Gamelli provided the following safety tips:
The U.S. National Wildlife Federation provides more on campfire safety.
SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, June 24, 2014
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