Grilling accidents with small children: expert warns of fire accelerators

Prevent grilling accidents - Avoid fire accelerators
Sunshine, a cool beer, delicious sausages and a juicy steak on the grill: For many Germans, this is the ideal vision of a successful summer day. The joy of BBQ fans can quickly be tarnished. In the barbecue season, accidents with burns are not uncommon. In order to protect children, fire accelerators should be avoided.

Burns from grilling accidents
Many families use the grill on warm days and mild summer evenings. Grilling together is fun - and unfortunately it can be extremely dangerous, especially for small children. All too often, serious grilling accidents with bad burns happen. Experts therefore repeatedly point out that no methylated spirit should be used when grilling.

Young children especially at risk
The pediatric surgeons at the University Hospital Leipzig (UKL) also want to draw attention to the dangers in the current barbecue season. According to the experts, the two and three year olds are particularly at risk. You should never be near hot grills.

According to Prof. Martin Lacher, director of the clinic and polyclinic for pediatric surgery and specialist in the treatment of burns, grilling accidents are more serious than "normal" burn accidents with children.

The consequences: “Often months of inpatient stays, several operations, dressing changes due to the pain only under anesthesia. In addition, there are often psychological consequences, ”said the doctor.

Burns after grilling accidents require very complex treatment by a highly specialized, interdisciplinary team. Pediatric surgeons, child intensive care physicians and anesthetists must work together.

Treatment times are long, the little patients must be isolated. Not infrequently, there are visible scars, restricted movement and subsequent psychological damage.

Direct exposure to heat and burning clothing
Most of them are children of kindergarten age who are injured in barbecuing accidents. "Small children are at great risk," said Prof. Lacher, "they underestimate the danger and approach the grill out of curiosity."

What makes grilling accidents so dangerous compared to other thermal injuries such as scalding?

"Above all, it is the high energy of red-hot coals and the direct exposure to heat from a flash of flame in the event of improper use of fire accelerators," the pediatric surgeon explained.

It gets particularly bad when the clothes catch fire. This creates deep burns. In very serious burn accidents, the child breathes in the smoke from the source of the fire, so that the fire injuries can also result in smoke poisoning with lung damage.

Prof. Lacher: "This combination is not typical for grilling accidents, but we always have it in mind."

Do not use fire accelerators
The doctor therefore strongly advises never to lose sight of small children near a grill and, above all, to avoid fire accelerators such as alcohol or petrol. If an accident has occurred, the burned body surfaces should be cooled.

However, not all burns may be cooled permanently. "If the burns are extensive," says Prof. Lacher, "cooling down can be a problem. Then the child should be wrapped in blankets, ”said the expert.

Not only accidents, but also various chemical substances that can arise during barbecuing pose a health risk.

For example, the smoke can contain so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, that can cause cancer. These occur, for example, if fat or marinade drips into the fire or the grill meat is extinguished with beer.

But if you follow a few tips and tricks, the BBQ can also be designed without harmful substances.

For example, the crustaceans when grilling can be reduced by the right method of preparation and marinades. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Smoking Ribs on a Gas Grill. Basics with Babish (January 2022).