Making your backyard safe may require a stroll around the area with eyes wide open:
1. Check for Small Objects
Check the lawn for stones, glass and other debris. When children run, they fall, and like to roll around. While a small stone could cause a minor “ouch,” a piece of glass could turn into a more serious accident. Toddlers are also in the habit of putting everything in their mouth. Since landscaping absorbs any chemical treatments, if you have recently used any, be vigilant that young children do not put any plant material in their mouth.
Lock up all chemicals. Weed killers and lawn and plant fertilizers may have turned your backyard into a dream come true, but in the hands of a child these dangerous poisons could become your worst nightmare.
3. Garden Equipment
While you’re at it, equipment like the lawnmower, weed eater, rake, trimmer, or any other potentially dangerous equipment should be stored in the garage or another area that can be locked.
4. Playing Equipment
A swing set can provide hours of fun, but only if the equipment is safely secured. If the seat of the swing set is made of wood, consider replacing it was plastic. With plastic there is no chance of splinters sticking legs or hands. Replace worn or frayed ropes and replace them with safer steel chains.
Check climbing structures to ensure that nuts and bolts are secure. Create a soft surface under the swing set or climbing structure to prevent scrapes and bruises. Sand or grass is preferable over stones or cement.
5. Poisonous Flora
You might want to familiarize yourself with the flora you have in your backyard. Are any of the trees, shrubs or flowers poisonous to humans and pets? Making your backyard safe is worth a call to your local nursery.
If you have a pool, it’s important that you make your backyard safe by surrounding the perimeter with a fence high enough to keep small children out of the area. Have a sturdy gate, secured with a lock, and never leave the key in the lock. When the pool is in use, make sure there is always a responsible person around to supervise.
7. Standing Water
Sources such as buckets, ponds and ditches may seem harmless, but it doesn’t take much for a small child to drown. Even above ground pools or plastic kiddie pools should never be left unsupervised.
If you have been using the backyard as an outdoor workshop, look around and pick up your equipment such as a hammer, nails, screws and other small items.
Where it comes to your loved ones, backyard safety is important.