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With summer upon us, think about safety when grilling outdoors

With summer on the way and grilling season upon us it is a good time to remind people to be diligent about safety, especially around young children when operating an outdoor grill. Maryland residents might be interested in a story about a young boy who received burn injuries in an explosion after his mother attempted to light an outdoor barbecue last Sunday.

Neighbors rushed to the house next door when they heard a loud boom and discovered the young boy lying on the ground and his parents screaming and crying over him. They immediately called 911 for help. They could see the boy was badly burned over his face and hands and was in a lot of pain. Paramedics performed life support procedures before he was airlifted to the hospital, accompanied by both of his parents.

The accident happened when his mother tried to start the charcoal briquettes and wood chips in the barbecue by spraying some fuel on them. The can of fuel exploded when it caught fire from the briquettes and burned the 6-year-old boy who was standing near the barbecue. Investigators found a 1-gallon can of "Top Fuel" that was destroyed when it exploded.

Top Fuel is a mixture of high-octane gasoline, usually mixed with nitrous oxide to boost the fuel's power. This particular fuel is used in high-powered toys, such as remote controlled airplanes and cars. Officials said the boy received minor burns in the explosion.

Burn injuries can have severe long-lasting effects, especially on young children as they grow. The pain involved in skin graft surgeries and long-term rehabilitation can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Thankfully this young boy received had only minor burns in the accident. But it is a sad reminder of the dangers involved in the use of outdoor grills and the need to focus on safety when working with any kind of fuel near fire.

When lighting a grill or barbecue, it is especially important to use only materials and fuel specifically approved for that use. Accidents can and will happen even in the best of circumstances. As this story demonstrates it is important for everyone to think about safety at all times when grilling outdoors this summer.

Source: Fox 5 News, "Aloha boy injured in BBQ explosion now in serious condition," April 8, 2012

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