Just because summer is fading into another school year, South Floridians are still out in force enjoying poolside barbecues and cookouts at the park – perhaps even more so, as lower temps and humidity serve to draw more people out of their comfy air-conditioned homes this time of year.
What this means to the staff at the Burn & Reconstructive Centers of Florida at Kendall Regional Medical Center is they have an opportunity to continue to spotlight safety.
As the leading Burn Hospital in South Florida, Kendall Regional’s team strives to spread awareness on burn prevention and safety tips. Dr. Haaris Mir, the medical director of the Burn & Reconstructive Center encourages everyone to have a fun, but safe, season ahead.
Burn safety starts with grill care. Making sure your grill works and its gas tanks are not leaking are good initial steps. Dr. Mir recommends checking for leaks by spraying soapy water on gas line connections. If you see water bubbles, there is a leak.
“Refrain from using any fire-starting device to check for leaks,” says Dr. Mir. “That’s how explosions happen.”
Some additional tips and precautions include:
• Create a “safe zone” surrounding the grill, or any area where there is a burn risk, such as a campfire.
• Use grills only in properly ventilated areas to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Never use an accelerant such as gasoline to light a grill, campfire or debris pile. Gas fumes can ignite and cause a large explosion.
• To dispose of hot coals, soak with water, then stir, and soak again to make sure the fire is out.
• Always shut off the propane tank valve when not in use.
• Never try to light a gas grill with the lid closed.
• Always wear short sleeves and/or tight-fitting clothing while grilling.
For those planning to spend more time working in the yard, make sure to take extra precautions if you are going to have a burn pile. First, check local guidelines for outdoor burning. Then, make sure you know what is in the pile. A hidden aerosol can cause a huge explosion, and other items can emit toxic fumes when burned. Other safety tips include:
• Do not use gasoline, lighter fluid, or any other flammable liquid to start the fire.
• Always have a hose nearby in case the fire starts getting out of control. Having another option nearby – like a bucket of sand or a fire extinguisher – is also a good idea.
• Never park a vehicle on top of a pile of leaves or debris, as the heat of the vehicle could ignite the pile.
• Do not leave a fire unattended or under the supervision of a minor.
• Make sure the fire is out and all hot coals are extinguished when your work is done.
“Burns cause a lot of pain, but that can be prevented with caution and forethought,” said Dr. Mir.
Even with these precautions, burns can happen. To treat a minor burn: first rinse the area with room temperature or cool water; do not use ice or very cold water; do not apply butter, mustard, oil or toothpaste; apply an antibiotic ointment to the injured area and keep it covered with a clean, dry gauze; and seek medical care.
About Kendall Regional Medical Center
Kendall Regional Medical Center, an award-winning 417-bed hospital, is recognized for providing a wide array of services to the residents of South Florida, as well as visitors from around the world. KRMC offers 24-hour comprehensive medical, surgical and diagnostic services, including trauma and burn care, pediatrics and maternity services, an orthopedic and spine institute, along with patient and community services.
For over 45 years, KRMC has been committed to expanding and improving every facet of the organization. Today, the hospital has grown into a major tertiary-care teaching facility, with more than 1,000 physicians and specialists and 1,800 employees.
The main campus of Kendall Regional Medical Center is located at 11750 SW 40 St., Miami, FL 33175. For information, call 305-223-2200 or visit www.KendallMed.Com/Service/Burn-Care.