Outdoor grilling is a favorite summer activity in the U.S. It’s fun, easy, and produces great tasting food. But grilling also poses a safety risk, whether you are using a charcoal or gas grill. Your hands are exposed to high heat and susceptible to burns. Here’s how to grill safely:
Always wear gloves.
When turning food or removing items from the grill, always use potholders or insulated gloves to protect your hands from the heat. The flame could flare up without notice.
Use long utensils.
Use long utensils that are meant for grilling when placing food on the grill, turning it or removing it so that your hands do not get too close to the flame.
Avoid grilling on windy days.
The winds can cause the flame to jump which may burn your hands or start clothing on fire.
Burns are the result of the death of cells in the skin, when the skin comes in contact with something hot. The treatment and recovery time after a burn depend on the severity. Here are the four degrees of burns and how they may be treated:
- 1st Degree: This is a superficial burn that will turn your skin red but will not create blisters. It will heal in about a week. Treatment includes using local pain killers.
- 2nd Degree: This type of burn results in partial thickness skin damage. Blisters will be present with a 2nd degree burn. To treat this, you will wear a splint on your hand/forearm. Your doctor will clean the wound and apply a topical antibiotic (such as a cream). It will heal in 2-3 weeks.
- 3rd Degree: This type of burn results in full thickness skin damage. The skin will be white and leathery. You will need surgery if your burn is this severe. Surgery will include removing the dead skin and replacing it with skin grafts. It can take months to fully recover from such an injury.
- 4th Degree: This burn is the same as a third-degree burn, but it causes damage to tendons, joints and/or bones. You may need more than one surgery.
Serious burns may also need treatment with a hand therapist. Learn more about burns of the upper extremity as well as other injuries and conditions at www.HandCare.org.
Firework-related injuries can range from burns to complete loss of the hand and fingers. While the best choice is to attend public fireworks displays rather than setting off fireworks near or around the home, take the following precautions when around fireworks:
- Obey safety barriers around a fireworks show and stay 500 feet from the launch site.
- Supervise teens when using fireworks.
- Wear eye protection when using fireworks.
- Read the labels and instructions before using fireworks at home.
- Remain standing when using sparklers.
- Soak used fireworks in water before throwing in a trash bag.
- Do not use fireworks indoors.
- Do not try to relight a “dud” firework.
- Do not touch fireworks debris. It may still be hot.
We all love the warm summer weather and the fun activities that come with it, but the summer season is a peak time for many injuries. Here are some common summer injuries and how to prevent them:
- Wrist sprains: Falls are extremely common during the summer. Many activities such as skateboarding, rollerblading, bike riding or riding a scooter can result in a wrist sprain. To protect your wrists, wear wrist guards during these activities.
- Lawnmower injuries: Each year, 25% of hand and foot lawnmower injuries result in amputation. Keep children away from the lawnmower and always keep hands and feet away from the blades. For more information, read these safety tips.
- Burns: Barbecuing and relaxing around a fire pit during the summer is always enjoyable, but the open flames can be dangerous. Keep your distance from the grill and/or fire pit and always keep an eye on children that are nearby. Always use long tongs when grilling to protect your hands.
- Golfing injuries: Golfing can be tough on your hands, arms and wrists. Warming up and stretching before playing is important for injury prevention.
- Jammed finger: Many sports become more active in the summer, and jammed fingers are some of the most common sports injuries. Learn more about how to treat a jammed finger.