Keep Your Cookout Safe

Man grilling on gas grill

Cropped image. Tony Alter, Flickr. CC License.

Having a cookout this summer with friends? Remember these few safety tips to make sure the fun isn’t interrupted by an Emergency Room visit.

Food Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), July is the peak month for grill fires. A few essential tips are listed below, but you can download a full checklist.

  • Only use grills completely outdoors, never in an area that isn’t properly ventilated such as a garage or shed.
  • Position grills away from trees, homes and structures including decks and gazebos.
  • Keep children and animals away from the grill during and after cooking while the grill or charcoal is still hot.

This helpful infographic from gives a good overview of how to avoid food poisoning at your gathering. If you do suspect food poisoning, it will be helpful to have poison control already plugged into your cell phone: 800-222-1222.

Sun Safety

  • Be sure to stay hydrated while active! Safe Kids Worldwide offers these handy tips for athletes, but they also apply to anyone having fun in the sun.

Kid Safety

  • In large groups, there’s sometimes a false sense of security that more people mean someone is always watching the small children. To avoid any confusion, make sure it’s clear who has 100 percent responsibility monitoring the little ones at all times. Take shifts with other parents by tagging in and out for meal time.
  • Avoid distractions such as smart phones and excessive alcohol intake if young kids are depending on you for supervision.
  • If a child goes missing, first check any pools or lakes if nearby. Next check trunks and backseats of cars. Approximately 30 percent of children who die from vehicular hyperthermia were trapped after playing in an unlocked car.
  • If there’s a place for kids to play, learn how to transform the playground into a safeground.

– Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager, Beaumont Health System

1 Response to “Keep Your Cookout Safe”

  1. 1 beaumontparentingprogram July 23, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Such great reminders – good stuff! Thank you!

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