BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC 33/Fox 44) For the first time in 20 years, AAA will not issue its Memorial Day travel forecast, which estimates the number of people traveling over the holiday weekend. With more people staying close to home amid COVID-19 concerns, the influx of at-home barbecues, crawfish boils and outdoor activities mean more possibilities for burn-related injuries. Each year, more than 19,000 patients visit emergency rooms for burns involving grills or barbecues.
“It’s easy to associate burns with heater fires in the winter,” said Dr. Tracee Short, medical director of Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center. “Unfortunately, we see a lot of patients each summer with burns from grills, campfires, boils and fireworks – which can all be prevented by using the right safety measures.”
Dr. Short’s tips include:
- Only use grills outside, and keep a 3-foot “safe zone” around them.
- Check to make sure propane tank connections are secure on gas grills.
- Build campfires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs or other materials that burn. Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
- Never use gasoline or other accelerants on campfires.
- Sparklers should be immediately placed in water after they burn out and children should be supervised when using them.
- Never try to re-light fireworks that don’t work properly the first time.
While people who have been severely burned should go to an emergency room or call 9-1-1 immediately, consultations from experts at BRG’s Regional Burn Center are also available by submitting pictures of burned areas securely online.
BRG has the only verified burn center between Florida and Texas, and is one of only 68 in the U.S. that is held to specific standards by the American Burn Association through its verified status. Established in 1970, BRG’s Regional Burn Center plays an integral role in supporting other Gulf Coast states when the need arises.