What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about
summertime? Most of us begin thinking about the warm weather and
getting together with family and friends to enjoy a weekend
barbecue. It just seems as if summer and barbecues go hand-in-hand
but there is a hidden danger behind the barbecue that you may not
have known about before. In fact, it isn’t just a minor
hazard but it is something that has the potential to take a
The Fiore family were together on a beautiful summer night and it was the perfect time to break out the grill. It just seemed too nice to cook inside so the decision was made to grill some hamburgers and enjoy the summer weather together. They had no idea, however, that things were about to take a turn for the worse. It happened faster than anybody could even realize and it almost ended up taking their son’s life. Now the mother is issuing a warning online for everyone to know about the dangers of grilling.
It happened when a barbecue was taking place at the Fiore home and their son, Anthony, took his first bite of a hamburger fresh off of the grill. He was six years old at the time and after taking a bite of the hamburger, he got ill immediately.
Anthony said that it felt like a needle and he was rushed to the hospital. The doctors gave him an examination and discover that he swallowed a small piece of a wire bristle brush that was used to clean the barbecue grill.
“We knew something was wrong and he was in extreme pain because he was crying.From the time we had dinner to the time we had surgery, it was about 12 hours later, because our journey started at the local hospital, and then we were transported to SickKids,” Anthony’s mother, Nadia said.
Doctors have a difficulty removing these thin wires from people’s throats when they are swallowed. Fortunately, the doctors at SickKids were able to remove the wire successfully. Anthony was on his way to getting better but he wasn’t out of the woods yet.
One of the problems that can take place when these wire bristles are swallowed is for an infection to occur. The bristles are used to clean the barbecue so obviously, they carry a lot of bacteria and it is delivered directly to the area of the throat. It seems apparent by this time that the situation wasn’t something new to the surgeons at this hospital. It was a problem that obviously comes up frequently enough that they have a known method of removing it.
“It makes a hole in the intestine and that could be life-threatening,” said Dr. Aziz Benbrahim. “We had a patient who had it in there for 2 weeks and he had severe complications and bigger surgery.”
According to the vice president of development at Barbecue World, Duff Dixon, the cleaning brush should be replaced as soon as the bristles start to get matted. It is also a good idea to check the brush carefully and ensure that the wires are fastened using a metal backing and not one made of plastic or wood.
“These stories have been happening as long as the brushes have been around,” said Dixon.
It really doesn’t take all that much looking to find out that a number of parents have gone online to make others aware of the dangers of using a grill brush. This isn’t a one-time situation but rather, it seems to be a problem that continues to happen.
The next time you’re at the store and are in the aisle with the barbecue supplies, take a look at some of the grill brushes. You will find that many of them are cheaply made and it doesn’t take much pulling to get one of the wires to come loose. Imagine what happens when you continue to scrub the barbecue on an ongoing basis. Not only do you loosen the wire bristles, you are filling them up with food particles that would be a sure source of infection if they got lodged in the throat or intestines.
If you really want to be safe when barbecuing the summer, don’t use one of the wire bristle grill brushes. A better way to clean the grill is to light it and close the lid so the grill superheats. A crumpled up piece of aluminum foil can then be used to clean the grill just as good as a wire brush but without the dangers.
The mother has gone public with what happens to warn others of the danger. She said: “I hope to have these brushes removed from the shelves, have them banned.”
Their son is afraid to eat anything off of the grill. They are leaving putting their BBQ plans on hold for the summer.
You can watch the news video here:
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