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With kids, parents can't help being as cautious as possible. We can go to great lengths to ensure that our kids are safe wherever they may be.
While many of us may feel that our kids are safest at home, this isn't always true. It is equally important to ensure the safety of our kids when they are indoors or out playing in the backyard.
Taking the right safety measures to child-proof your home and backyard will take a lot of stress off your mind. This will especially be helpful in situations where you may have to leave your kids alone at home or if you’re hosting a party and may not be able to devote all your attention to your kids and those of your guests.
It goes without saying that your backyard should be properly fenced. Here are some other important backyard safety tips that you can put into good use.
Tips for Patio Safety
Always be sure to buy good quality furniture for your backyard. Patio or deck furniture should be sturdy so that it doesn't tip over and injure kids. Avoid reclining and folding furniture as they can fold over unexpectedly. If you can't do without such furniture, be sure to teach your kids to not jump over such furniture.
Glass tabletops should be avoided as they can shatter and injure kids. Always discourage kids from playing on such surfaces and around such items. You'll want to keep your kids from playing around garden umbrellas too as they can tip over easily.
Be sure to check your furniture for any splinters or rusted parts that may be sticking out. Broken mechanisms or frayed straps need to be repaired to prevent accidents. Use non-toxic solutions to clean furniture.
If you have a raised patio or deck, make sure no thorny plants are growing around the edge as kids can hurt themselves if they topple over. Additionally, keep the patio free from clutter.
Tips for Playground Safety
It is important for the playground to be adequately cushioned so that it can offer some protection when a kid falls. Use a 10-12 inch deep layer of shock-absorbing material such as rubber or sand for the same.
Grass works well but you'll have to consider mowing it regularly, along with re-seeding in high-traffic areas. You'll also need to use fertilizers and pesticides as required. Synthetic grass is a better option for the play area as you won't need to water, mow, or use chemicals to maintain it. It also comes with a layer of shock-absorbing mulch beneath it. No wonder installing an artificial turf for playgrounds in schools and homes is becoming popular.
Avoid using play sets made of treated wood as it exposes kids to arsenic, which is known to increase the risk of cancer. If you already have a play set made of treated wood, be sure to seal the wood with standard penetrating treatments once a year.
It is advisable to replace high-exposure sections such as deck boards, hand rails, rungs, or steps with other non-treated alternatives. Arsenic can leach from the wood onto other things when it rains, so be sure to store toys and other items in a safe place instead of leaving them under such wood structures.
Play sets need to be fitted securely. Protruding bolts on play sets, slides, swings, etc. should be covered. Avoid play sets that have ropes or cords as they pose a health hazard. Play sets with steps are preferable to those with rungs. If choosing a play set with rungs, make sure rungs aren't too wide apart or too close as kids can get stuck between the spaces. Ladders, walkways, ramps, etc. need to have guard rails to prevent mishaps.
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Tips for Pool Safety
Pool safety is important be it summer or winter as kids can easily drown in shallow water too. If you haven't got a fence installed around your pool already, get one as soon as possible that has a self-closing and self- latching gate opening outwards. Be sure to install latches out of the reach of kids.
It is also important to not have furniture or items around the fence that kids can climb up on and get inside the pool. Keep the pool covered at all times when not in use. Drain covers need to be properly fitted so that kids don't get trapped under water.
It will help to have rescue equipment nearby. You may want to consider installing a pool alarm that can alert you whenever someone enters the pool.
Tips for Fire Safety
Whether you're throwing a barbeque party in your backyard or huddling around the fire pit with loved ones, it is important to ensure that kids are safe from fire-related hazards.
Barbeque grills should be on a level surface and sturdy so that they may not topple over and cause injuries. Always stay beside the grill when it is on and never allow kids or pets near it.
If you have the provisions to make an open fire in your backyard, never leave children around the fire unattended. Avoid starting a fire if there's a strong wind; it is better to avoid accidents whenever you can.
Remember to extinguish open fires properly as smoldering flames are potentially dangerous. Kids may try to touch coals too so be sure to dispose coals correctly.
If you take the right safety measures, you won’t have to constantly worry about your kid’s safety. It is also important to teach kids the importance of safety so that you know they’ll do the right thing even if you’re not around to watch over them 24/7.