When you’re a parent, all you want to do is to protect your child. But your own yard may be filled with potential dangers that you’re not even aware of. Take the steps to make your yard safer for your children when they go outside to play. Some things, you can protect them from.
Pick Up Lawn Hazards
Any parent knows that kids mange to get into everything. According to Safewise, you can make your yard safer for them to play in by putting away ladders, wrapping up and securing your garden hoses and storing all lawn tools. Don’t leave shovels, rakes or other gardening tools leaning up against the shed or garage, and stack your wood piles low. Don’t invite kids to climb on logs, ladders or yard equipment by stacking them up against buildings.
You can’t go out and safety-proof the entire world to keep kids safe, but there is a lot you can do in you own backyard. Use stair gates to kids around decks and pools. The CDC suggests supervising young children around potential fall hazards at all times.
Check your yard, and remove any sharp or large branches. Remove animal feces, mushrooms and any other potential dangers you see. Appliances like air conditioning units should have fencing around them so children don’t play around them. Garages, sheds and other outdoor buildings should be locked and secure.
Control Pests and Insects
Insects and pests could be lurking all over your yard at any moment. You can’t ever remove all the insects and pests from the outdoors, but you can make your yard a lot less attractive. Plant basil to keep flies and mosquitoes away. Grow chives to deter mites. You can even make natural insect repellent using garlic or cayenne pepper powder mixed with water and liquid soap. Spray it on plant leaves to make them less attractive to insects.
Check all your window and door screens, if present, for holes. Patch any holes you may find, and repair any gaps or cracks around your doors and windows to keep pests out of your home. Eliminate pools of standing water, which attracts mosquitoes and many small pests. Look for drainage areas, low-lying places and other areas where water might build up. Cut back shrubs, plants and trees growing closer than 2 feet to the walls of your home or garage. Pests love to hide in shadowy places. Fill in any gopher or rabbit holes that can become trip hazards for kids, and repair any damaged decking, fencing or furniture.
A Word About Playgrounds
Backyard playground areas can be accidents waiting to happen, according to Healthy Children. Make sure the ground beneath your playground area is soft. Cement, blacktop and decking are all hard surfaces that are unsafe. Wood chips, rubber and sand, at least 9 inches deep, are all safe materials. Playground equipment should be on a level surface, and well-secured to the ground.
Cover sandboxes overnight to keep stray cats and pests out, and thoroughly check sand for glass, pieces of trash and aluminum before allowing kids to play. Swings, seesaws and other play equipment should be several feet away from trees, buildings, pools and deck areas.
Make Your Yard Safer
Take the time to look over your yard, and do a little safety-proofing for your kids before you release them into the great outdoors. If there’s trouble somewhere or danger waiting, kids are bound to find it. Look over everything and remove as many hazards as possible so kids can play happily and safely.
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