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7 Common Grilling Injuries And How To Avoid Them

Posted: 05/25/2012 8:29 am

Fire? Check. Knives? Check. Copious amounts of alcohol? Check. What could possibly go wrong when grilling outdoors, you ask. Well, now that you mention it -- a hell of a lot. "I once treated someone who stomped out a campfire in flip-flops and fried off the soles of his feet," says Dr. Kristina E. Orio, attending physician in the Emergency Department at the South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass.

From flash burns to finger lacerations, here's everything you need to know for when your BBQ gets out of control.

Related: 10 Grilling Traditions Around The World »

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"Flash burns to the face are very common when grilling," says Orio. "Typically, there is a fair amount of alcohol imbibed by the griller in the setting."

Dr. Michael Freedman, MD, a plastic surgeon in upstate New York, says that lighter fluids are
another common culprit. "What usually happens is you have someone who is using briquettes and they are taking too long to heat up, so the individual keeps spraying them with an accelerant like gasoline or kerosene," he says. "Then when they light the fire, it flares up toward the person's face. Every summer, we have someone come in who is bright red, with first- to second-degree burns on his face, no eyebrows, no eyelashes and the hair in their nose is all gone. You'll have to take antibiotic ointment for that because it's going to hurt for several days."

Photo by Flickr user emilydickinsonridesabmx.

Related: Playing With Fire: Gas vs. Charcoal BBQ »
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