Children are a high-risk group
According to the federal working group “More Safety for Children”, about 60 percent of accidents happen to children in their own home or in the home. Typical accidents include falls, drowning and poisoning as well as scalds and burns. Every year in Germany alone, about 30,000 children under the age of 15 require medical treatment for burns and scalds. However, the high-risk group for thermal injuries is children up to five years old.
In its annual report for 2021, the German company for incineration medicine counts 2,038 children. Most of them were children up to three years (77 percent) who needed to be treated, some with severe burn injuries. After all, typical barbecue accidents, such as those caused by flames or fat burning, play a relatively small role with seven percent. However, young children are most often caught in front of the flames and get burns primarily on the front of the upper body (44 percent), arms (39 percent), hands (29 percent) and head / face (24 percent).
Rules at the grill
First and foremost, the grill must be safe and as sheltered from the wind as possible. If you use liquid grill lighters such as petrol or spirits, you should always expect lightning fires to occur. Paper, wood or solid, tested grill lighters from specialist dealers, e.g. B. ignition cubes, toothpicks or barbecue paste are much more child-friendly. If you do not have the patience, you should get yourself a gas grill. For charcoal need to take some time until it glows ready for grilling. ARAG experts strongly advise against using a liquid fire accelerator, as there is a risk of explosion.
When grilling, fire often occurs due to fat dripping down on the charcoal. Uncontrollable flame rays can develop rapidly. The ARAG experts therefore recommend grilling trays on which the food is to be grilled. Regardless of the lighter, the grill and charcoal remain a hot affair that children are often unable to assess. Therefore, they should learn from the start to keep a safe distance of two to three meters. And frolicking near a barbecue is strictly taboo! In addition, children in particular should wear flame retardant clothing made from natural fibers when grilling, in case sparks fly.
If the situation gets out of control, never burn the burning grease with water. A fire blanket, sand or a fire extinguisher must then be at hand. Even after grilling, the embers are dangerous because they stay warm for a long time. Therefore, do not leave the grill unattended, even after you have finished grilling. It is also not a good idea to dump the glowing coal on a lawn, bed or sand as children can step on the embers.
First aid for scalds and burns
Burns and scalds are painful and often prolonged. It is all the more important that you act quickly but at the same time calmly and carefully after the accident. First, extinguish the fire or the burning clothing with water, a blanket or by rolling on the floor. Burnt clothing should be left on the body. The burned skin areas should be cooled immediately. This prevents the heat effect in the tissue from continuing – the so-called “afterburning”. Small burns, for example on the finger, should be cooled with lukewarm water (at least 15 degrees) for about ten minutes. If the child has burns, they must be kept closed to avoid the risk of infection. ARAG experts point out that large burns should not be refrigerated as it can lead to dangerous hypothermia. Instead, the affected body parts should be covered loosely and without pressure with a germ-free bandage from the first aid kit. In parallel with all measures, the emergency services must be called immediately on the emergency number 112.
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