When the weather is nice, we fire up the grill. Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to outdoor cooking. To help keep your family safe, we’ve compiled some safety tips for grilling season.

Sally Wilson, RN, BSN, Education, Prevention, and Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Trauma and Burns at Children’s National suggests teaching children about grilling and fire safety at an early age. 

“Children model what they see, if you use good techniques, children will learn to model proper safety precautions,” said Wilson. “Always have parental supervision around fires.” 

Be smart during grilling season with these simple tips for your family: 

  • Maintain a 3-foot “kid-free zone” wherever there is a fire.
  • If it rains, do not relocate and continue grilling indoors – charcoal and propane set off toxic gases and can cause potential asphyxiation.
  • Do not leave children alone around open flames, stoves or candles.
  • Keep matches, gasoline, lighters and other flammable materials out of children’s reach.
  • Never leave a grill unattended.
  • Always douse outdoor fires with water or dispose of in proper containers.
  • Invisible hot coals just below the surface can retain heat for up to 24 hours.
  • Never carry children and hot foods or liquids at the same time.
  • Keep items that easily catch fire (napkins, paper plates, matches) away from heat sources like campfires, grills and stoves.
  • Keep all hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges and out of the reach of children.


Sally Wilson, RN, BSN, is the Education, Prevention, and Outreach Coordinator for the Division of Trauma and Burns at Children’s National Health System and Safe Kids Worldwide. She specializes in pedestrian safety, window fall prevention and seasonal safety issues.

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