Summertime is meant for spending some quality time with your children in the yard. But just like any other part of your home, your yard can be a dangerous place that can end your fun really fast.
Childproofing your yard isn’t as easy as childproofing rooms in your house. Parents know that their kid’s safety is paramount, even if that means a little hard work in the yard. After all, playing in the lush grass among the flowers, trees and birds should be a safe venture. Besides, playing outside is so much better for your children than having them cramped in the house in this beautiful weather watching television.
River Valley Pediatrics, your pediatric clinic in New Braunfels, offers tips to make your backyard a safe environment for your children.
Store Accessories Properly
When you grill in your yard, make sure the accessories you use are properly stored and out of reach at all times. While you are busy tending burgers and dogs on the grill, you don’t want children handling tongs, spatulas and all of the other cooking utensils you use that just happen to have sharp edges and present other dangers.
In addition, safely store any propane tanks in areas that are not accessible to children.
Fence Your Yard
Putting a fence up will help keep your children contained and keep them from wandering off. You will want to make sure you have good gate latches that stay locked. It might also be a good idea to get automatic closing springs for the gates just in case someone leaves them open.
Keep Garden Equipment Locked Up
Rakes, lawn mowers and even little hand shovels can be dangerous if children get a hold of them. The best way to keep these and other garden equipment and tools out of the reach of children is to lock them up in a shed.
Mind the Stairs
Even outdoor stairs that are only two steps can cause serious injury should your child trip and fall down them. Provide a barrier around all outdoor stairs so children won’t fall down them.
Watch The Water
All it takes is a few inches of water for a child to drown. Even very small kiddie pools should be completely drained when not in use.
Standing water can grow bacteria and become habitat for certain insects that can pose other threats to children.
Grass is Soft
Your children are bound to trip and fall when running around and playing in your yard, there is just nothing you can do about it. But if your backyard is filled with grass, you give your children a soft landing. Gravel and dirt yards are tough on kids, have a heart and grow some grass.
Make sure any play equipment you install is on a level surface and that it is secure. Placing a jungle gym on a slight hill can cause it to tip when your child starts to climb on it.
As for the play equipment you buy, make sure they are from reputable sources and follow the safety directions very carefully when installing. Check all equipment for sharp edges and make sure it is age appropriate for your children.
Fire pits below the surface of your lawn need to be properly covered when not in use. Keep in mind that coals will remain very hot long after the fire has gone out. Practice extreme caution when operating a fire pit in the presence of children.
Some plants can be poisonous should they be ingested. Check the plants and trees you have in your yard to see if any of them pose a threat.
Pad the Furniture
Just like indoor furniture, outdoor furniture can have sharp edges and could pose other dangers. It makes good sense to purchase padding for your outdoor furniture.
Watch the Fixtures
Go over your lawn several times and check for hazards. For example, a protruding sprinkler head is a tripping hazard and should be fixed right away. Outdoor hoses sitting in the sun will become extremely hot, put them away if they are not in use. And make sure outdoor electrical sockets are covered as well.
The last thing you want to do is have to rush your child to River Valley Pediatrics with an injury sustained in your yard.