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Stay Cool While Having Summer Fun with These Burn Safety Tips

Family around a campfire

For many families, summertime means going to the beach, spending time outdoors, celebrating with firework displays, family barbeque cookouts, and outdoor bonfires. While these activities are sure to be a fun time, they can also create opportunities for serious burn injuries. Check out the tips below on how to avoid burns while having some summer fun.

Fireworks Safety

An adult should always be the one to light fireworks, including sparklers. Parents might consider having a designated fireworks area and keeping children away from that area. Always keep a fire extinguisher and a hose nearby in case of a fire, and choose a spot far from flammable liquids, such as gasoline, for lighting fireworks.

More than 3,000 children under the age of 15 are sent to the emergency room every year because of firework injuries. Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause third-degree burns. Firework-related burns often occur to the hands, eyes, and the head and neck area.

Grilling Safety

Make sure and place gasoline, matches, lighter fluid and other related items in a place where children cannot find them. Position your grill away from the sides of buildings, deck rails, overhangs, and away from low hanging branches. Do not leave children unattended near a burning grill, and always keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy.

Bonfire Safety

Always check with your local authorities to see if bonfires are legal in your area. Keep campfires a safe distance away from other things, such as homes, dry brush, trees or other buildings. Never leave children unattended around a bonfire and teach them to not run or play too close. Use dirt to extinguish the bonfire but don’t bury it. Buried coals can continue to smolder and cause serious burn injuries. Most importantly, never use gasoline to re-ignite a fire.

The bottom line is - fire and gasoline just don't mix! Gasoline is traceable by vapor back to its source, which is why it's NEVER safe for anyone to throw gasoline on a fire, EVER!
Steve R., Retired Lieutenant Fireman

Sunburn Safety

The most common burn that happens in the summer is a sunburn. Always wear the recommended minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen for outdoor activities. Re-apply sunscreen often while swimming, or if you are sweating. Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection. Wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts and pants, if possible. Avoid or limit your exposure to the sun from the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Do not use tanning beds and check for any new skin changes or growths regularly.

If you sunburn, take a pain reliever and drink plenty of fluids. Seek immediate medical attention if your sunburn develops large, painful blisters, you start showing signs of dehydration; develop a headache or dizziness, fever and chills, or an upset stomach.

Parents should seek immediate medical help if a child gets burned. Call 9-1-1, or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

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