A back yard is a great place for your active kids to run around, to play ball on the lawn, to learn how to grow vegetables, pick fruit from fruit trees. Backyard activities are only limited by your children’s imaginations, and their imaginations are limitless!
While the backyard is a wonderful place for your children to play, it can also become an unsafe environment if you aren’t careful. Make sure your backyard is a safe environment for your kids by following these 5 steps:
1. Set Boundaries
Teaching your children boundaries is important for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important being their safety. Establishing boundaries is one thing. As any parent knows, enforcing them is quite another. You tell child a hundred times not to touch the stove, but they don’t learn until they touch it. Similarly, telling your children to stay in the backyard is one thing, keeping them from wandering off is another. Adding a fence around your yard does two things at once: it sets the boundaries, and even more importantly, it enforces them. A fence makes it hard for your kids to wander off. It keeps your kids where you want them to be, and it keeps unwanted visitors out. Keep your utility sheds and workshops locked. Unsupervised kids and power tools are a bad combination.
2. Maintain Your Playground
Home playground equipment such as playhouses, swing sets, and trampolines can pose a serious risk for injury. If poorly maintained, they could rust or break during use. Make sure your home playground is safe by keeping it well maintained. Keep moving parts properly lubricated. Check fabric or mesh for wear and tear, and patch or replace it when it becomes questionable. When it comes to playgrounds, the one thing you can always count on are falls, and lots of them. Having at least the recommended minimum 9″ of soft material such as wood mulch or chips under your playground will help keep your kids out of the urgent care clinic. Wading pools are some of the most neglected safety hazards. They are often left filled with water. A toddler who wanders and falls into a wading pool could be very bad news. Keep your wading pool empty when it’s not in use.
Your trusty old chest freezer just stopped working last week, so you’ve bought and installed a replacement. Where did you put the old one? Probably out back next to the shed until you get around to hauling it off and properly disposing of it. When the kids are out back playing Hide-And-Seek, they see a big empty freezer as the ultimate hiding place. The problem is, they could be right. The best way to make sure no one gets stuck inside a fridge or freezer is to remove the door before you stow it. This way, even if someone does climb inside, they can’t get locked in. Additionally, be sure to lock away or securely cover any other old equipment that could be dangerous.
4. Grills and Fireplaces
Secure your backyard appliances so your children can’t turn them on, causing a gas or fire danger. When you use your grill, it’s common to throw the burgers on and then walk away for a while until it’s time to turn them. Unsupervised, a hot grill can spell disaster for young children. Stay close by and set boundaries of a few feet in all directions. Try to impress upon your children the burn risk of getting too close. When you’ve finished the yummy BBQ and the grill has cooled off, keep it covered and locked if possible.
5. Chemicals and Plants
We all want a rich, verdant lawn and a vibrant, producing garden. Chances are, you use chemicals to control weeds, pesticides to protect your fruits and vegetables, and fertilizers to promote growth. While these may be good for your lawn and garden, they are usually very bad for your kids. Keep them locked up in your garden shed and out of your kids’ hands. Also, while it may seem obvious to you not to eat this flower or rub up against that leaf, it might not be so obvious to your kids. They love to explore, experiment, and most especially, put things into their mouths. Teach them not to eat things in your backyard. Learn for yourself which if any plants may be poisonous or could cause allergic reactions and keep remedies in your home first aid kit so that you can respond quickly in case any incidents occur.
Nicole lives with her husband and small family, and enjoys the challenges that come with raising small children. When trying to better protect her children, she found that Awards Fencing provides the best quality fences she could find.