The great British weather, we love it.

Making barbecue - anticipationThe sun comes out, along with all the gorgeous smells of cooking. Burnt sausages and rubber burgers… We can’t get enough of barbeques! Nobody wants to think about accidents when we are having such a good time, but sadly, every year dozens of people are injured. Fact: most accidents involving children happen between late afternoon and early evening, in the summer, during school holidays and at weekends.

Obviously, no parent would put their children in obvious danger, but sometimes dangers are not so obvious. Children ‘spy with their little eyes’ things that we, as adults, may not notice. It may seem weird to your guests and neighbours, but get down to your child’s level when getting things ready for the party and a few times during it. You’ll know what they can see, grab, lick or drink which you’d rather they didn’t. Also remember that children are very inquisitive and always want to help. It only takes a second to take your eye off them and they could reach for something on a BBQ. Always have lots of water handy, not only to keep up your fluids but for any kind of an unexpected mishap.

Barbeque with kids - they want to do everything themselves, try to choose safe activitiesMinor Burns: extremely painful, but sadly common.

  • Run the affected area under cold water for at least 10 minutes (never use ice).
  • If you haven’t got a burns dressing, which many people don’t have, cling film will do, but only after getting the heat out of the burn first (as above).
  • Immediately remove rings and watches if they are wearing them, as the area will probably become swollen.
  • Don’t put creams or lotions on and NEVER butter (it’s only for toast).

Not only do we love al fresco dining, so do wasps and bees. If you or your child get stung these are the things to do and not do:

  • Cold compress and lots of TLC
  • Do not try and remove a sting with tweezers, this may push the sting deeper in.
  • Ask your pharmacist about antihistamines.
  • Immediately look out for any signs of anaphylactic shock. Severe swelling, hives, blotchiness or difficulty in breathing. Call emergency 999 if this occurs.

Barbecue: ready to eatIf you use lighter fuel for you BBQ, do remember that the words “Dangerous, don’t drink” may seem like an obvious signal to you, but your young children can’t read this message and it all looks just like pop to them, even with a safety cap on. Put it somewhere safe; don’t rely on watching the kids, as it only takes a second to be distracted.

If you are at an unfamiliar place, be aware of dangers that you may not have thought of. Ponds, for instance, are lovely to look at and fascinating for children, but dangerous if they should fall in.

With all emergencies, wherever there is doubt, you have your answer – seek professional emergency services, immediately.

And finally, just use your common sense, take all the usual precautions and you won’t need to use any of the first aid tips from this article. Have a lovely summer and enjoy your BBQs – here’s to the sunny weather!

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