4 Ways to Childproof Your Backyard

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Your kids may enjoy playing in your backyard all year round, but have you considered that your yard may have hidden hazards that could undermine their safety? Very young children could come in contact with poisonous plants, dangerous chemicals and tools, or even put small items in their mouths, causing a choking hazard. They also risk drowning if you have an open swimming pool and you leave them unsupervised. It's imperative that your home's outdoor space is safe for kids. After all, you want them to have fun without worrying about their well-being. Here are some great ways to childproof your backyard

photo via Unsplash, A. Bingham

Keep Tools Out of Reach 

Children are naturally curious and will play with whatever they lay their hands on. But this can be disastrous if they discover garden and work tools lying around your backyard. These objects can cause severe and fatal injuries, and leaving them in plain sight can compromise your children's safety. Statistics indicate that an average of 875 injuries daily are caused by lawn and garden equipment, including broken bones, cuts, bruises, amputation, and nerve damage. These stats involved adults, reiterating how dangerous these tools can be for children, too. Therefore, consider storing your tools in your tool kit, shed, or garage when you're not using them. Consequently, teach your kids about the dangers of playing with these objects, and get them kid-friendly garden tools if they are interested in gardening. 

photo via Unsplash, J. Kemper

Fence Your Pool 

A pool may be great for entertaining your kids, but it's not without its dangers. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children aged 1-14, and the majority of children drown in their home swimming pools. Taking necessary precautions makes sense, and one such step is to fence your pool. Working with professional fence installers like the Texas State Fence Company is essential to achieving the best results. The CPSC advises making the fence four feet or higher to ensure that your kids can't enter the pool without your permission, but be sure to check with your town requirements. 

Check that your fence is climb-proof, and that the gates open outward away from your pool. Self-latching and self-closing features are also important, or consider getting a pool gate alarm. Depending on your desire, you can choose tempered glass, vertical bar, or removable mesh pool fencing. It's important not to let your kids in the pool if you aren't there to monitor them. Also, teach them how to swim to reduce their risks of drowning. Make sure your rescue equipment is in good condition and easily accessible, and institute rules that your kids must abide by. 

photo via Unsplash, J. Colata

Check for Poisonous Plants  

Although some plants can beautify your outdoor space, they can also cause health issues. Poison ivy, sumac, and oak contain urushiol in their flowers, leaves, roots, stems, and vines. Urushiol can cause your kids to develop an itchy and painful rash upon contact. Giant hogweed also contains a sap that can cause blisters on the skin when exposed to sunlight and temporary or permanent blindness upon contact with the eyes. Other plants cause damage when ingested. For instance, ingesting daffodils can cause diarrhea, vomiting, mouth irritation, and abdominal pain. Likewise, ingesting poison hemlock can cause muscle damage, tremors, kidney damage, and slowed heart rate. It's important to check your backyard regularly to ensure that these poisonous plants aren't present to put your kids at risk. If you need help with identifying these plants, this guide will prove helpful. It's important to research plants before planting them in your backyard, so keep this in mind. Additionally, keep pesticides, herbicides, and other garden products are out of kids' reach, as they can be lethal when ingested. Consider storing them in your shed or a locked cabinet, and secure these areas with childproof padlocks or safety latches. You also want to remove their toys from the yard before applying pesticides and cover these chemical bottles tightly. 

photo via Unsplash, K. Arsov

Remove Weak Tree Branches 

It's not unusual for tree limbs to fall off during the summer due to prior snowstorms and wind. However, these tree limbs can make your kids susceptible to tripping and falling, leading to injuries. Moreover, these limbs can fall without warning and injure anyone who happens to be present at that time. Be sure to eliminate these weak branches and keep your children safe. You can easily prune limbs yourself or  work with landscaping professionals to help you get the best results. 

photo via Unsplash, O. Nayda

Now that your yard is safe for children to play in, remember to maintain it and conduct periodic checks to make sure there are no hidden hazards for your little ones. 

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