Pets and kids have one unique similarity; they both have a curious mind. For them, the world is a mysterious playground that has to be explored.
Unfortunately, curiosity does not always lead to a learning experience, as the saying goes “curiosity killed the cat.”
Sadly, kids and pets are the most vulnerable and will easily get injured at a BBQ party, thus there is a need to exercise safe barbecuing while they are present.
Barbecue Safety Around Kids
Kids are naturally curious about their surroundings and will take every opportunity available to explore them. However, instead of discouraging their curious nature, parents should embrace it.
You don’t want your child to grow up feeling afraid – let them satisfy their sense of adventure. However, always ensure there is an adult to watch over them. Here are some vital safety tips on barbecuing around kids.
- Explain how the barbecue grill functions, while it is switched off. This is to quench their curiosity about the grill. Once they know, they’ll be less likely to sneak off when no one is watching, at least we hope!
- Cuts and scratches are among the most common BBQ related injuries. Children are particularly susceptible to cuts and bruises caused by the jagged edges and pointy protrusions of the BBQ grill. To avoid injuries it is advisable to cover edges and pointy protrusions with masking tape unless the area will be exposed to heat.
- All metallic objects used in the BBQ process such as the skewers should be kept away from the reach of children.
- Create a safety zone for children away from the BBQ. This can be done by enticing kids to play a game that will keep them occupied while the BBQ process is going on. Children always seem to have boundless energy so this may be pretty easy.
- For the kids not to feel left out from the BBQ process, involve them in the food preparation. Kids can be preparing the food to be grilled while the BBQ is being turned on. This is a way of letting them learn more about the BBQ process while keeping them safe from possible danger.
- When dealing with a grill machine where kids are involved, there should always be an adult whose sole duty is to watch the kids movement and supervising what they are doing.
- Kids should not be anywhere near the BBQ when it’s being turned on. See how to light a bbq.
- Any children near the BBQ area should not wear loose clothing to prevent the clothing from catching fire.
- The grill or BBQ should be well covered, especially if kids are around. It is advisable to use charcoal and cover the base about 2 inches deep.
- All safety protocols prescribed in the BBQ manual should be adhered to when using a grill.
- Use of accelerants is highly discouraged where kids are involved. Accelerants such as paraffin and petrol should never be used around kids.
- Once the BBQ is turned on, it should never be left unattended or be moved. Kids may take advantage of this to satisfy their curiosity, which may lead to injuries.
- Once the BBQ is done, the grill should not be moved until it has cooled down completely. The ashes should be emptied on to the garden soil or taken to an appropriate place. Consider investing in heat resistant gloves.
BBQ Safety For Pets
Just like kids, pets are usually very curious and will want to explore their surroundings, especially the small sized ones. So, pets are as vulnerable to BBQ related injuries as kids are. There is, therefore, a need to exercise caution when barbecuing in the presence of pets.
There are several do’s that you should consider when dealing with pets and BBQ.
- Pets should not be allowed to consume any BBQ foods. The greasy nature of BBQ food has been known to cause pancreatitis in pets and animals in general. Pancreatitis is a condition that leads to the inflammation of the pancreas.
- Pets should also not be allowed to access the garbage bin or any trash area after a BBQ. This is because barbecuing often leads to unsafe waste that may be attractive to pets. Cooked bone remains especially enticing yet dangerous – it can break easily and these bone fragments can get lodged in the esophagus, intestine. A surgical operation may then be needed to remove them.
- Matches, lighters and any lighter fluid should be kept away from pets. The phosphorus in these items and fluids is poisonous to pets when ingested or even inhaled.
- Dips, fruit salads should be out of reach of pets. These foods normally contain onions, raisins and sometimes grapes and even garlic, which are toxic to dogs and other pets.
It’s also important for your four legged friends to have a good time. To ensure that pets are safe and enjoying the BBQ, here is what you can do:
- Keep pets occupied with a game e.g. Frisbee, while the BBQ is being turned on. This is to ensure they do not jump on to the grill. Keep far from the BBQ area.
- Pets should be supervised during the BBQ to ensure they are not disrupting the process, thus endangering themselves.
- Ensure that there is plenty of water for your pet if you will be serving seasoned meat from the BBQ. It is recommended to have a bowl of water on the ready anywhere pets are involved. The bowl of water can have small ice cubes with cut up fruits to make the treat more enjoyable for your pet. It’s summer time and it’s hot. Pets need to stay hydrated.
- Since most barbecues are done in the summer when it is hot, ensure that your pet has access to a shade to protect them from the scorching heat.
We hope these BBQ safety tips help ensure a positive grilling experience. Barbecuing is always an exciting and fun activity for the whole family, pets included. Hence it should not result or end in injuries or accidents.
Did you enjoy these tips? Let us know in the comments with your thoughts and experiences.