Children's Hospital Colorado

Summer Burn Safety

A girl swinging on the playground in the summer.

Summer is a time for fun in the sun at the playground, barbeques and camping trips. While we're out with family and friends enjoying these outdoor activities, it's easy to get distracted by all the fun and forget about burn safety.

Many of the outdoor activities we enjoy during the summer pose burn hazards. Keep your family safe by learning about these hazards and how to prevent summer burns.

Summer safety tips for playgrounds

Some equipment on playgrounds can get very hot and burn a child's skin. Children burn more easily than adults. Always check the following before letting your children play on the playground:

  • Don't assume that the temperature of the equipment is safe even in cooler weather. It doesn't have to be hot outside for playground equipment to get hot enough to cause a burn.
  • Touch the playground equipment to make sure the temperature is safe for your children. If the equipment feels hot, it is most likely too hot for your child's skin.
  • Be aware of metal and dark‐colored plastics, rubber, asphalt and concrete surfaces.
  • Dress your child in appropriate clothing and shoes for the playground. Pants can protect your child's legs. Don't let your child go barefoot at the playground.

Summer safety tips for outdoor grills

Children may get close to the grill because they're curious about what's on the menu, or they may want to help cook. But, it's important that kids always keep a safe distance from grills.

  • Keep a 3-foot safe zone around outdoor grills.
  • Don't walk away from the grill while it is lit.
  • Use only starter fluid that is designed for lighting charcoal. Never use other flammable liquids to start a charcoal grill. Never add lighter fluid to hot charcoals.
  • Keep matches, lighters and lighter fluid away from the reach of children.

Summer safety tips for campfires

Embers from campfires are more likely to cause burns than the flames. Fire pits can stay hot for up to 12 hours after it has been put out.

  • Keep children at least 3 feet away from the fire pit.
  • Use only designated fire pits or fire rings.
  • Supervise children when they toast foods, such as marshmallows, over the fire. Marshmallows with flames could cause clothes or hair to catch on fire.
  • Completely put out the fire and coals by pouring water on the fire. Stir the fire and coals and continue to pour water over them until they are cool.

Other summer burn safety tips

  • Sunburns: The sun's rays can cause serious sunburns. Apply sunscreen on your child's skin before they go out to play and every few hours while outside. Learn sunscreen tips to help prevent sunburns.
  • Fireworks: It may be tempting to let your child play with fireworks, but no firework is safe. Even sparklers can cause severe burns. It's best to leave fireworks displays to the professionals.

Answers in your inbox

Expert advice delivered directly to you. Get weekly tips