Child Safety: In Your Own Backyard

5508380_mYou may not think twice about letting your kids run and play in your own yard, and you shouldn’t have to, but you do need to take some basic measures to ensure that your yard is a safe haven for them. That doesn’t mean they need to be suited up in knee pads and helmets for an afternoon of play, but it does mean doing a thorough check and removing hazards, some of which you may be inadvertently creating yourself.

Safety Tips for Your Backyard

  • If you have moved to a new area of the country, be sure to learn about regional dangers such as poisonous snakes and spiders, and how to watch out for them. Your county extension office is a great resource for this type of information.
  • Check for poisonous plants, whether you are new to the area or not. Teach your kids never to eat berries or anything else from a plant without checking with you first.
  • Keep all lawn and garden tools, such as rakes, out of the reach of children. If you kids are old enough to use and be around them, make sure they are always stored safely with the tines pointed down.
  • Always put ladders away when you are finished using them.
  • Do not let children play on grass that has been treated with pesticides or herbicides for at least 48 hours after treatment.
  • Make sure your kids always wear sunscreen, and reapply it frequently.
  • Open buckets should be stored upside down to prevent creating a drowning hazard if it rains or snows.
  • Keep an eye on tree health. A dead or weak branch can fall on your child without warning, or break off if your child tries to climb.

And, finally, don’t forget to teach your kids some basic outdoor safety rules.