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6/26/20blog post

doctor's seeing an increase in bonfire burns

9 children admitted with burns in the last two weeks

Summer has officially arrived, and backyard activities are more popular than ever!

At Dayton Children’s, we know enjoying nature, even if in your own back yard with a campfire or fire pit under the night sky is one way to have some summer fun. We also know campfires and fire pits come with great responsibility. 

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 300 kids are treated every day with burn injuries across the nation.

Over the past two weeks, Dayton Hospital has admitted 9 children with very serious burns, and others were treated in the emergency department. These injuries can be severe, and even life-threatening. 

"We are seeing a large increase in burns this year compared to previous years, " says Lisa Schwing, trauma program manager. "Kids are bored right now. They have no regular activities.  No soccer, swim team, baseball…so they are making their own fun. Teenagers are sleeping all day and then taking parts in activities like bonfires at night.  Pre-school aged kids are falling into the bonfires and teens are exploding accelerants in the fires that then explode and catch them on fire.  Lastly, little kids are running through the one day old ash to find out the ash insulated hot coals.  This burns their feet and they end up falling onto their hands and getting burned." 

9 tips for fire safety 

before you start the fire:

  1. Check the weather conditions and make sure it isn’t too windy to have a fire. Wind can cause the fire to be unpredictable. 
  2. Clear brush and debris from around the fire area. 
  3. Make sure to have water nearby before you start your fire.  
  4. Space seating around 6 feet from the fire.  

while enjoying the fire:

  1. Supervise all children near the fire pit, don’t allow running near or around the fire.
  2. Refrain from throwing trash or other items into the fire, especially items like pressurized cans, or items containing flammable materials.  

at the end of the night:

  1. Let the fire burn low and wait until all flames are extinguished. 
  2. Douse the hot coals with water.  Embers from the pit stay alive for up to 48 hours under the ash and many children are injured walking through a fire pit they think is cold.
  3. Ensure all coals are completely out before leaving the fire.  

Remember, supervision is key to enjoying a safe fire this summer. Supervise all children and be sure to keep your eye on the fire and make sure it manageable. 

For more information about fire safety visit:  

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If you are interested in pursuing a story about Dayton Children's please contact:

Katie Solovey
public relations manager