Published: Thursday 10 June 2021

Nothing signifies the arrival of British summer quite like the scent of charcoal-grilled food. And whilst most barbecues are nothing but a source of a delicious meal and the chance to get friends and family together, there are around 1800 barbecue-related visits to A&E each year* whether for burns or cuts caused by the barbecue itself. Young children, especially, pose a hazard if they don’t yet understand the potential dangers surrounding fire.

Keep the fun and enjoyment in your barbecue sessions by following a few key bits of advice:

  • Make sure your barbecue is working properly, especially paying attention to any connectors if you have a gas powered one.
  • Set it up on a flat, hard piece of ground, away from anything flammable, including sheds or fences. Never light a barbecue inside a shed, garage, tent or house.
  • Also make sure that the barbecue is sited away from any play areas and, if your garden is small, make sure that any children around are aware of what is taking place and where they can play safely. Perhaps allocate one (responsible!) adult to specifically play with the children to ensure that they or any games are kept well away from the barbecue area.
  • If you’re in charge of the barbecue, take off any loose clothing before lighting it. Don’t use paraffin or petrol to light it and make sure the wind is blowing away from you (or anyone else).
  • Always keep a bucket of water ready for emergencies. Once it’s lit, stay with it and don’t attempt to move it until it is completely cool. This may be some time after the flames have gone out.
  • Barbecues stay hot for a number of hours after being extinguished and can, therefore, be dangerous to children long after you’ve finished using it.
  • Be careful what you do with the ashes: they can melt plastic - such as a bin - if they’re even slightly hot.

Follow our advice and you should have a safe and fun barbecue. But if an accident did occur? Prepare yourself by joining us for a Baby and Child First Aid course. We run them at locations in Angmering, between Worthing and Littlehampton, and Brighton & Hove. We hope to have face-to-face courses available to book soon.

We also have an online version which can be studied at your own speed. Learn Baby and Child First Aid skills at home.

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