Grilling on the 4th? Don’t Get Burned, Docs Say

(iVillage Total Health) - If you're planning that big Fourth of July barbecue this year with grilling galore, remember this: protect yourself and your family from accidental burns and other holiday hazards.

Barbecues and fireworks often go hand in hand with Independence Day celebrations. Unfortunately doctors say accidents and injuries such as severe burns are also often part of the observance. Dr. Roger Yurt, director of the Hearst Burn Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, offers advice on safely celebrating the holiday.

For barbecues and cookouts:

  • Inspect propane or other gas grills and tanks for leaks, dents, cracks or other damage to tanks or connections.
  • Light the match or turn on the lighter before turning on the propane tank.
  • Never grill indoors or under enclosures (i.e., carports, garages or patio awnings) to avoid the risk of fires.
  • Do not smoke or use matches or lighters near the grill.
  • When using charcoal grills, douse the coals with water to ensure that they are extinguished.
  • Wait until the charcoals are cool before disposing them and avoid handling hot coals.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking; these items can accidentally catch fire.
  • Keep children away from the grill and have adults supervise small children.

For fireworks displays:

  • Keep guests (especially children) at least 500 feet away from fireworks displays.
  • Closely watch children and instruct them not to touch used fireworks since they may still be hot. Sparklers can be as hot as 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Public fireworks displays are often sponsored by local city and county governments. To be safe, take your family to those celebrations, which are conducted by trained professionals.

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