Each year many children and teenagers are burned when they trip and fall into fire pits or campfires or when the fire looks “out” but is not. Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, a partnership between Kohl’s Cares® and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, offers injury prevention information to keep children safe from harm.
“While grilling, campfires and fire pits often are part of summer in Wisconsin, they can be very dangerous,” said Barb Riordan, BSN, RN, Burn Program, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “Even seemingly small burns can be very serious and require immediate medical attention. We know that with proper safety precautions in place, all of these burns are preventable.”
Help protect children from harm by following these guidelines:
- Establish a three-foot, “kid-free zone” around grills and fire pits. Teach children and their friends this rule and always watch children who are near a fire.
- Keep fires small. For outdoor fireplaces, a safety screen should be installed to contain stray sparks.
- Build the fire or set up your fireplace away from overhanging branches, dry grass and leaves. Circle a fire pit with rocks or be sure it has a metal fire ring.
- Keep water, a shovel and a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire burns outside the designated area.
- Use safety gloves. Most people realize the screen, glass and all metal parts of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit are hot when in use, but it is surprising how easily that detail is forgotten.
- Be aware of weather patterns and overall outdoor conditions. Never build a fire in hazardous, windy or dry conditions.
- Never leave the fire unattended, not even for a minute.
Put out the fire, watch hot coals
When it is time to call it a night, follow these guidelines:
- Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible. Stir the ashes and embers with a shovel, and scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
- Pour lots of water on the fire, drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. A good rule of thumb is to pour until the hissing sound stops.
- Coals can remain hot for more than 24 hours after a fire is extinguished. Do not let children play around fire pits that recently have been used.
If your child is burned:
- Stop, drop and roll if his or her clothing is on fire.
- Cool the burned area immediately with room-temperature water.
- Remove burned clothing and jewelry, and cover the burn with clean, dry cloths.
- Immediately seek medical care. Even a small burn can be a big deal.
For more information about burn treatment and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s Burn Program, visit chw.org.
The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Kohl’s Cares® share the mission of keeping kids in our community safe, healthy and injury free. That’s why, together, they developed Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy, a community injury prevention program that provides a trusted educational resource for safety in the home, outdoors and on the go. The program includes an informative Website, a popular game app for kids called Keep Spriggy Safe — available on iTunes or Google Play, and a Mobile Tour Unit that facilitates injury prevention outreach and education at community events. For more information, visit the website KohlsSafeandHealthy.com.