Wellness Wednesday: Pandemic leads to spike in grilling injuries. How to prevent burns

Wellness Wednesday
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Grilling is the sizzling sound of summer, but if people aren’t careful, the burn won’t be limited to inside the grill cover.

Those at Upstate’s Clark Burn Center say grilling injuries are some of the most common injuries they see in the summer months.

“Kids tend to go up, they grab the grill, and they get the burns on their hands,” said Tamara Roberts, program manager at the burn center.

Roberts says they’ve already seen several grilling injuries, more than they typically would. Last year during the pandemic, they treated at least 100 more patients than normal.

“Definitely people are staying at home, people are experimenting,” Roberts said.

Whether you’re a first-timer or an old pro it’s easy to have an accident.

Common burns are caused by the way people light their grill. The key is to light it while it’s open. If your gas grill doesn’t start, don’t try to re-light it right away.

You’re supposed to open the top of the grill and you’re supposed to let it wait for at least five minutes and then re-try the process.

Tamara Roberts

That’s for propane. What about charcoal?

“People like to put charcoal lighter fluid on it. Well, if it doesn’t get hot enough we add a little more and then we end up with the big flames. People get flash burns from that.”

tamara roberts

Roberts says it’s always a good idea to keep your grill away from your home to prevent a house fire.

Here’s what she encourages you to do once every week or two:

“Clean that tray underneath because all the fat drips down into that as well as the grease, and that’s what really puts the grill at risk of fires,” said Roberts.

For more summer safety tips, click here.

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