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Safety While Grilling

Patient Ambassador James grills banana boats with Weber Grillographer #shorts

James and Grillographer Mike (grill photographer) shows us how the whole family can help grill banana boats! Plus, James reminded us of some important grilling guidelines to prevent a burn injury. A special thank you to Mike and Weber Grills for letting Shriners be part of the summer grilling season! #shorts
View Transcript

Speaker 1: Let's kick off summer grilling season with a recipe the whole family can enjoy together. Banana boats are a creative way of bringing children into the cooking process, and most importantly, they're delicious. Now, to help out, I brought my friend James, a patient ambassador with Shriners Children's Ohio to help build our boats. Now, James, we talked about some important safety lessons when it comes to grilling. What are they?

James: Never cook without an adult watching, you don't touch pots and pan without permission because they may be hot, and first bite always goes to the youngest chef.

Speaker 1: Can we negotiate that?

James: I'll think about it.

Speaker 1: All right. The first step is to prep our banana butts. We're going to go ahead and cut a slit in it with a sharp knife, the key is not to go all the way through the banana, and once we have the slip made, it's your time squeeze together and make a pocket. Perfect. Take some marshmallows. We're just going to put them right inside that pocket. What do you think goes next?

James: Nuts.

Speaker 1: You better believe it. I like marshmallows, how about you?

James: Love them.

Speaker 1: Guess what the last thing is going to be.

James: Chocolate.

Speaker 1: Chocolate it is. All right, James. The bananas are stuffed. We're going to get the grill set for indirect medium heat. And this is where those rules that we talked about earlier are really important. We've set up a circle of safety. It's about a three-foot ring around the grill where James and other kids should never cross when the grill's in use. The burn care experts at Shriners say this is a good rule of thumb for campfires and even indoor fireplaces. Metal grates or embers can still cause serious burns even hours after the fires have extinguished.

James: Mike is going to grill the bananas until the peel has darkened and a chocolate and marshmallows have melted. It should take around 15 to 20 minutes.

Speaker 1: All right. While we're waiting, James, why don't you tell me how you became an ambassador for a children's hospital?

James: I was burned in a big fire when I was a baby. The doctors and nurses at Shriners took care of me until I was ready to go home. It may look a little different than most kids, but I can do the same things they can do.

Speaker 1: I think you have what it takes to be a grillographer. Now, tell me, do you still go to Shriners?

James: Yep, they'll take care of me until I'm a grownup. For now, I tell families how amazing Shriners is now doctors and nurses can help them too.

Speaker 1: That seems like a really important job, but you know what? I can see why they picked you. Now, most importantly, let's go check on the bananas.

James: Yes.

Speaker 1: What am I missing, James?

James: Ice cream.

Speaker 1: Of course. Let's try it. Oh, there you go. Is this something you'd make with the family?

James: Yeah, and I know exactly what I want to grill next.

Speaker 2: Learn more about our specialty pediatric care at

[Shriners Children's logo]

Speaker 1: One take. James, good job. One take James.


Grilling is common during the summer months, when children are out of school, and mom and dad prefer to spend more time outdoors rather than cooking dinner in the kitchen. We all enjoy a grill-cooked meal, but need to be aware of the risks associated with this activity.

According to the American Burn Association, more than 400,000 burn injuries occur each year in the United States. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year from 2014 to 2018, fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated average of 10,600 fires. Half of this number was due to accidents that occurred during grilling.

Advice for Safe Grilling

  • Safe location: Be sure to grill in an open, well-ventilated area. Avoid closed areas or grilling near flammable materials.
  • Constant supervision: Never leave the grill unattended while in use. Stay close at all times to be able to control any emergency that may arise.
  • Fire extinguisher: Have a fire extinguisher handy. Make sure you know how to use it correctly before you light/start the grill.
  • Keep children and pets away from the area: Establish a safety zone around the cooking area and make sure everyone is aware of it (minimum 3 feet, recommend 5 feet (1.52 meters).
  • Proper tools: Use tools specifically designed for grilling, such as long tongs or heat-resistant gloves, to avoid burns.

After Grilling is Complete

  • Completely extinguish charcoal: Make sure you completely extinguish the charcoal fire before leaving the area. Spray water on the coals and stir them to make sure they are completely cooled.
  • Let the grill cool: Do not touch or clean the grill until it has cooled completely. Hot grills can cause severe burns.
  • Safe storage: If you are going to store your grill or grilling tools, make sure they are cool and clean before doing so. Store them in a safe place and out of the reach of children.
  • Dispose of ashes safely: Once the ashes are completely cool, you can dispose of them in a fire-resistant metal container. Avoid throwing them in common garbage containers, as they may cause a fire.

Remember that safety is essential at all times when handling fire and barbecue equipment. It is always better to prevent and be prepared for any emergency.

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