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Do you love a good barbie this time of year?
I certainly love a good BBQ – and I’ll be taking on board some good practical tips from Julia Tyack – the founder of Tyack Health and an allied health practitioner there.
Julia (speaking from her experience as an allied heath practitioner and a parent and a grandparent) reminded me of some potential dangers of casual BBQs – and has some good ideas for keeping BBQs fun and safe.
(I help Julia improve her writing – including lyric writing. Julia gives me lots of tips about health and nutrition and parenting. Plus she is always feeding me healthy foods and drinks including juices!)
Here’s my chat with Julia and a summary of her tips. If you know anyone else who can benefit from Julia’s tips – please feel free to share this post.
Tony: So, from your experience we should beware of the barbie
Julia: This time of year not only do we (at Tyack Health) treat an increasing number of BBQ injuries – emergency departments also see significant injuries and burns around BBQs
And what sort of injuries are they? Mainly burns?
Burns – and general falls. Every year we treat falls as people try to avoid the BBQ and fall into a wall nearby or bump into others or sometimes fall on the BBQ. Even if they don’t get burnt – BBQs are often solid objects that can hurt if you fall on them.
It’s better to have a clear area around the BBQ – clear of people so there’s less risk of people who can be bumped and fall onto the hot BBQ.
It’s also a good idea to have a “designated cook/BBQ-er” and “designated servers” – people who come and get the food from the BBQ and then serve the group so people aren’t crowding around the BBQ and bumping into each other.
I usually advise BBQ organisers where possible have a serving area -a table where food is accessed away from the hot BBQ. This way less designated helpers are needed for serving as everyone can come and safely collect what food they desire.
Plus, people often have been drinking too – does that add to the problem?
People often enjoy a drink at a BBQ. That’s what you do at a BBQ – that’s why it’s smart to have a designated cooker and designated servers who don’t drink until after they’ve attended to their “duties”.
You should make sure children in particular stay away from going near the BBQ. An adult should take the food and give it to the children – who are away from the BBQ.
Be aware that kids are often at elbow height. Many kids get accidently elbowed in the head or hit with a swinging plate or glass or bottle. That’s why children joining in BBQ queues with adults can be a problem.
Do you think that Australians can be a bit “ too casual” when it comes to BBQs and BBQ safety?
I think many people “manage” BBQs well – but hosts often have so much on their minds – and that’s why it’s good to have a plan and to “share” the duties.
You have to be prepared for lots of things – from the splashing of hot fat, to people falling into the BBQ, to smaller children getting elbowed in the head while waiting in line for food.
That’s why I recommend appointing designated people who cook and serve food to others who are safely away from the cooking area.
Often hosts are busy running back and forth getting food or socializing. I recommend sharing the duties and making sure someone is always “on the scene” keeping an eye on things. Tag-team if a host has to leave the BBQ area to get more food or to answer the front door,
Don’t be afraid to share with your guests the plan for you serving the food to them and to ask them to stay away from the cooking area.
And remind guests to be aware of children at elbow height.
In fact, I think a grown-up should always take the food to children who are seated safely somewhere else.
Julia’s Top tips: