The weather is warm and school is out, so your kids are ready to play in your backyard this summer. But, have you taken all of the necessary safety precautions for them? Make sure you are ready for summer using these tips.
First, make sure your yard is safe to run around in. Animals and erosion can create small holes in the ground. These holes can cause your children to twist an ankle. Survey your yard and make sure you fill them.
It’s also easy to forget dangerous tools and lawn care equipment in the yard. Use a storage area or shed to store these tools and keep them out of your kids’ reach. If you are using electrical tools while children are around, make sure you do not leave them plugged in. Also, make sure they are turned off when you unplug them, so they do not automatically turn on when plugged back in. Most importantly, make sure you stow away pesticides and other weed killers. These can be deadly if consumed.
Once your yard is safe, you should look over any backyard play areas. Make sure swing sets are set on level ground. It is possible winter weather may have worn out the structure, so it is important to make sure everything is sturdy. Check around for loose screws or bolts and pick them up. Also, check for splinters or sharp edges. Make sure elevated areas are well enclosed to prevent falls, and that openings have plenty of room for entering and exiting. The swing set should be placed on material that could absorb the shock of a fall, like mulch or rubber. Finally, make sure it is not easy for children’s clothing to get caught on the play area.
Backyard pools are another area you need to keep safe. Your pool should be fenced in with a locked gate. The fence should not be easy to climb. An alarm should be placed on the gate so you know if it is being opened without your permission. Ensure areas around the pool are not slippery and that depth markings are clearly visible. Make sure the buoy lines and pool filters are attached securely. Ladders should be removed from an above ground pool when not in use.
You should keep a phone and first aid kit near the pool at all times. It is also helpful to keep a noise maker of some kind, like a whistle or loud speaker, near the pool. Finally, children should always be supervised near a pool. If small children are in the home, keep your back door locked. If a child is missing, have a house rule that you will look in the pool first. Every second matters when rescuing a child from a pool.
Spas and hot tubs, like pools, can be a danger to small children. Make sure your hot tub has a locked cover, so kids cannot easily get in. Ensure the area around the hot tub is free of obstacles to make entering and exiting safer.
Other ways you can make your backyard safer include ensuring there is adequate lighting for night-time use, and that trash can lids are secure so garbage does not blow everywhere.
By following these safety tips, you can ensure your family is safe while enjoying summer.