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From s’mores to sparklers

Teach your kids fire safety




We sit around campfires, light candles in our homes, and set off fireworks for celebration. Children are perhaps the most enthralled by the snap, crackle and pop of these rituals, but without some safeguards, could also fall victim to burns and other injuries.


Despite warm temperatures, many summertime activities include a fiery element such as fireworks, campfires and backyard fire pits. Teaching your children about fire safety (and heeding your own advice) can ensure that your next cookout or campfire doesn’t result in a trip to the emergency room.


Fireworks are a summertime favorite, but unfortunately they cause thousands of injuries every year. The safest solution is to enjoy a community- or city-wide fireworks display from a park or viewing area. If you choose to enjoy a small display at home, make sure that only adults are handling the fireworks, and spectators are seated safely away.


Use only legal fireworks, and confirm that no bans or fire restrictions are in place. Wear protective eyewear. Don’t point fireworks (lit or unlit) at other people. If you think a firework is a dud, wait a long time before approaching it. Sometimes the fuses take a while to light. Don’t hold lit fireworks in your hand. Put them on a paved surface. Keep all fireworks outdoors and out of grassy or wooded areas where they can ignite surroundings. Make sure fireworks are clear of roofs and buildings.


Many families have a backyard fire pit and enjoy summer evenings gathered around it. Consider the size, shape and placement of your fire pit if you have one — make sure it’s on a level, non-flammable surface such as a patio. Low, open fire rings can be tripping hazards, and small children can stumble into them. Conversely, taller, closed models are less of a tripping hazard but could be pushed over if not secured properly. Consider a spark screen and make sure children keep a safe distance by positioning chairs an appropriate distance away. Never add gasoline or other accelerants to a fire as it can cause a dangerous explosion. And remember, just like at the pool, no running!


Teaching your children about fire safety (and heeding your own advice) can ensure that your next cookout or campfire doesn’t result in a trip to the emergency room.

Firework and campfire season in Oregon unfortunately aligns with some of our driest weather and most dangerous fire conditions. There are often burning or open flame restrictions that coincide with holidays and camping trips (even in your backyard). Teach children to respect and abide by local or state restrictions in this regard, even if it seems to put a damper on a holiday celebration. It truly is better to be safe than sorry.


 

Brought to you by: santiamhospital.org






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