Keep Kids Safe at the BBQ

A cookout is a great way to get friends and family together for a delicious meal and lots of fun. But there are a few precautions to take when it comes to keeping kids safe around the grill and in the yard. Before you light the grill, be sure it's clean in order to prevent flare-ups. If you're using charcoal, then keep all of your supplies, including the charcoal, matches or lighters, and lighter fluid away from kids. If you use a gas grill, then be sure all connections to the propane tank are secure. While the grill is being lit, be sure kids are at least 10 feet away and keep them that way until the grill has completely cooled, which can take several hours. The same goes for pets - many people ensure that the human members of their family are safe, but the furry friends should be, too. Remember to keep hot cooking utensils away from kids as well as you grill. Adults should check their own clothing to be sure it is secure and not risking ignition in the flame, and the same goes for kids.

If the yard is particularly small, then you may want to assign an adult or adolescent to keep the kids in a designated area, like the front yard or inside the house, to avoid accidents with the grill. If the kids are playing on a swing set, then be sure their play is far away from the grill, and that there's some sort of protective ground cover underneath, such as sand or mulch. Many people keep their lawnmowers and other power tools in the yard. Move them, along with gas cans and other dangerous materials, if you plan on allowing kids to play in the yard as you grill. Allowing kids to swim as you barbecue can add to the fun, but it also adds risk. Ensure that you have proper supervision if kids are allowed to swim, and that means assigning an adult - or two - to the pool, and to the grill.