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summer bbq safety tips

Top 5 Summer BBQ Safety Tips

Our huge family loves any excuse to bring all the cousins together. Summer time is no exception as we pull together impromptu BBQs and pool parties as often as possible. Living an outdoor lifestyle is fantastic, especially when you live in a place as beautiful as we do, but all the outdoor fun comes with responsibility. Dangers are always present, but with my top 5 summer at home safety tips for BBQ fun, you’ll be prepared to take on any challenges that pop up! So let’s get started!

Top 5 At Home Safety Tips for Summer BBQs

Whether you’re grilling, swimming, or just lounging in the sun for the day, you need to be prepared for some common backyard BBQ hazards.

1. The grill is for the dads, not the children.

People underestimate not only how dangerous a grill can be but also how dangerous the tools required to grill can be. It is imperative that you keep children and pets far away from the grill area at all times. An important tip is to declare a 4-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill. Make sure the children’s table is a safe distance away from cooking areas and that there are no toys or activities occurring in close proximity to the grill.

The accessories used to cook such as spatulas, food thermometers, tongs, and grill forks can cause deep cuts requiring stitches and serious burns when hot off the grill. Keep these items and any gas, oil, charcoal, lighters, or lighter fluid out of the reach of children. Hanging cooking tools on the grill or placing them on a side table provides easy access and may result in serious injury.

2. Never underestimate the danger of a pool.

It is important to understand that no matter how well your child can swim, he or she can panic and forget their skills within seconds. Never underestimate the danger of pools, especially if there are a lot of children swimming at the same time. Drowning can be an extremely difficult thing to spot, and children often get overlooked when the pool is congested with people.

If you are hosting a summer BBQ and swimming is involved, I highly suggest hiring a lifeguard to supervise the pool. A great tip is to go to your local pool and ask about hiring a lifeguard. Most of the time, it isn’t that expensive. But it is worth every penny! Any swimming child under the age of 4 years old must be within arms length of an adult at all times.

3. Sunblock, sunblock, sunblock!

Sun protection should be every parent’s #1 priority when playing outside. UVA and UVB rays not only cause cancer, but sunburns are horribly painful and uncomfortable. Apply sunblock 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 45 minutes to an hour.

Although sunblocks and sticks are must-haves, physical barriers such as SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shade are equally as important. Children under the age of 6 months should not wear sunblock, so if you are planning on spending time outside with your baby, you must have shade.

4. Bugs, bugs, bugs!

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that illnesses from mosquitos, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the U.S. since 2004.

How scary is that?!

While insect borne illnesses are on the rise, most bug bites will only cause local redness, itching, and discomfort. Fortunately, an over-the-counter (OTC) cream or antihistamine is usually all you need to alleviate the symptoms!

I also love natural remedies, such as baking soda, oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, and coconut oil, to soothe the itch.

But prevention is key!

So always remember to dress your children in protective clothing and keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Don’t use bug repellent on young infants.
  • Only apply bug repellent to healthy skin and on outside of clothes.
  • Apply bug spray 15-20 minutes before going outdoors.
  • DEET is safe to use and VERY effective.

Most insect bites are harmless and do not cause any significant illness. However, I always advise parents that if they have concerns, they should always have their child evaluated by their pediatrician.

5. Where’s the first aid kit?!

Always have a first aid kit ready to go. If you do get into a sticky situation, you’ll be glad you have everything you need in one place.

Having first aid kit essentials can save you a frantic ride to urgent care or your local drug store. You can purchase most of the items you need at the dollar store. Here’s a quick rundown of some items you should include:

  1. Bug spray
  2. Hydrocortisone cream
  3. Children’s oral antihistamine
  4. Sunblock
  5. Antibiotic cream
  6. Adhesive bandages
  7. Tweezers
  8. Alcohol swabs
  9. Cold packs
  10. Elastic bandages
  11. Fever/pain reducers

I absolutely love this DIY first aid kit tutorial.

Final Thoughts on Summer Safety for Kids

You can certainly avoid all of these summer BBQ hazards by preparing in advance and staying alert. So I hope everyone enjoys some fun family celebrations. Just keep these at home safety tips for BBQing around kids in mind!

Dr. Katie

catching bugs

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