Looking for our 2018 calendar kids and monthly articles? New ones are posted each month.

Burnin’ Up

Published by , on Jun 27, 2013

firwordsSummer is a great time for cookouts, camping and fireworks. Unfortunately, it is also a time of increased injury.“With school out for the year and summer beginning, we start seeing more injuries occur as children get more involved in outdoor activities,” said Sam Bartle, MD, emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. “When dealing with these potential safety hazards, nothing is better than awareness and close supervision of children, but it is important to take some common precautions.”Firework Safety Fireworks cause almost 10,000 injuries a year, with more than half of those injuries coming from burns to the hands and fingers and 17 percent coming from one of the most unsuspecting types of firework: sparklers. Although we commonly think of sparklers as safe for children, did you know they can reach temperatures hot enough to melt metal?The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that families refrain from using fireworks all together and attend professional firework displays for a safe and fun experience the whole family can enjoy. If you and your family choose to use fireworks at home, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Never allow young children to play with fireworks and always supervise older children
  • Only buy legal fireworks
  • Never try to re-light a firework
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire
  • After fireworks have died, soak them in water before disposing of them
  • Never leave used fireworks laying around – many children get burned by stepping on them

Cookout SafetyChildren are curious and love to help. We love this playful nature, but these are behaviors that can also lead to injury. Keep these tips in mind when grilling around children:

  • Teach your children how to “stop, drop and roll” in case of an emergency
  • Keep all matches, lighters and grilling tools out of reach of children
  • Create a “safety zone” around the grilling area where children cannot enter – get the kids involved by having them draw a circle in chalk around the grill
  • Dispose of coals properly – soak them in water before disposal
  • Never leave the grill unattended

Many grill-related injuries are not from being burned, but from being scratched by the grill itself. Be aware of where your children play and keep your grill covered when not in use.Campfire SafetyCamping is a fun activity for everyone and isn’t complete without s’mores and a campfire! Follow these tips to keep your campfire safe:

  • Always keep fires small and in a fire ring, stove or fireplace
  • Keep plenty of water near the fire in case it needs to be extinguished immediately
  • Build fires away from vegetation so sparks do not ignite other areas
  • Make sure ashes are completely extinguished before leaving the fire
  • Never leave a fire unattended

If your child gets seriously burned, call 9-1-1 immediately. For local treatment at CHoR, you can refer to the Evans-Haynes Burn Center, the region’s only burn center for children.“The Evans-Haynes Burn Center is the oldest civilian burn center in the country and is the regional burn center for all of Central Virginia, meaning our physicians are highly experienced in the special treatment of burn injuries,” said Bartle. “Children with burn injuries that come to CHoR will be treated in the pediatric emergency room, which is dedicated just for the care of children, by staff trained specifically in pediatric care.”Keep these tips in mind for a fun and safe summer. Do you have any other safety tips? Comment below!Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *