It’s nice to have an outdoor space where you can let your kids play, but before you let them roam free – here are some ideas on how to make your backyard safe for your little ones:
1. Install childproof locks on gates and don’t leave anything near the gates that a child could climb onto.
2. Make sure outdoor play equipment is safe and sturdily constructed. Place play equipment at least 6 feet away from fences and walls.
3. Keep children at a safe distance when operating power equipment and hand tools. Ensure lawn mower fuel, pesticides and fertilizers are stored in a locked area. Put tools away after use – out of children’s reach.
4. Watch for poisonous plants in the backyard and pull up mushrooms and toadstools as soon as they appear. Some common poisonous garden plants include: Crocus; Daffodil; Foxglove; Lily-of-the-Valley; Mistletoe; Narcissus; Potato vines, greentubers, leaves and new sprouts; Rhubarb leaves; Tomato leaves and vines.
5. Clean area of all animal droppings.
6. Keep children away from the BBQ at all times, especially when you are cooking on it. Make sure you have a safety cover/lock on the propane tank.
7. Check the play area frequently, watching for broken sidewalks that need repair, loose boards on wooden steps, holes or ditches in the lawn that should be filled.
8. Fence your pool inside your yard, so it cannot be entered directly from either the house or the backyard. The fence should be at least four feet high, with spokes and slats not more than three inches apart. If you use chain link fencing, be sure the links are small enough so a child cannot climb on them. Be sure nothing blocks the view of the pool from the house.
9. Don’t leave a hose lying in the sun. Water in it can get hot enough to scald a child.
10. Get training in first aid and CPR. Don’t forget to use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF on all babies over 6 months of ages, and keep younger babies out of direct sunlight. Teach your child not to eat anything he/she picks without your guidance.
11. Install textured concrete or other slip-resistant material around the pool.
12. Don’t forget to have fun and soak up every moment of the summer!