Check Your Summer Burn IQ

From grills to fireworks to hot sand, danger lurks

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Giles said she's seen burns on children occur when people take the lid off a hot charcoal grill, set it on the ground and then return to grilling, only to have a child inadvertently touch the hot lid. Also, people don't always make sure the charcoals are put out properly when they're done grilling, and the hot coals can catch a child's attention.

"Whenever you're grilling with children around, especially children of the toddler age, supervision is of utmost importance," she said.

Holmes also pointed out that it's crucial that you open the lid of a gas grill before you light it. Open the lid and then wait a minute or two to give any residual gas that may be lingering in the grill time to dissipate so there's no explosion when you do light the grill.

Hot surfaces

If you've ever had to run across hot sand because it felt like your feet were burning, know that they very well may have been. It's possible to burn your feet, and require treatment for those burns, from walking unprotected on sand, wooden boardwalks, concrete or asphalt that's been heating for hours in the summer sun. Simply wearing shoes, even flip-flops, should keep feet safe.

"Certain areas of the country, like Phoenix, have a major problem with asphalt burns," Holmes said.

Giles said she hasn't seen a burn from a playground in quite some time. But, if you live in an area where metal slides and other metal playground equipment are still in use, don't let kids on them in the middle of the day and test the temperature of the equipment before you let children use it, she recommended.

More information

The National Fire Protection Association has more about preventing burns.

A companion article explores grilling risks.

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