Having a backyard to play in is one of the most wonderful gifts that you can give to your children. It helps them develop and learn many necessary life skills. It makes them feel homely and happy. However, a backyard can present itself with dangers to them, if improperly kept.
Backyards have different areas, such as the swimming pool, the garden, the playground and the barbecue sections. Here are some tips to make each of them safe for your children.
The swimming pool
Your swimming pool is perhaps the most dangerous area when it comes to children. They love water and playing, and are not aware of the existing dangers. Thus, it is very important to do research about safety measures and take the advice of experts. The following is a brief set of essential measures:
- Have your pool area fenced off. There are different laws according to countries and states and chain link fencing is often the best choice. Make sure that you are compliant with the ones pertaining to the place you live in.
- Keep your pool gate locked at all times. Make sure that no child is allowed in the pool area without the permission of an adult.
- Have a pool gate with a self-locking mechanism.
- Ensure that there are non-slip surfaces around the pool area. Most common accidents are the result of slippery floors.
- Make sure that children are supervised at all times. Occasional glances while doing something else are not enough. Accidents with children happen suddenly, thus requiring your constant alert and supervision.
- Have first aid equipment at hand. Remember, even if you have done everything to keep your swimming pool area safe, accidents can still happen.
Gardens are beautiful and help children to grow healthy and happy. However they present dangers. Make sure that you have taken the proper measures. Some important aspects to consider are:
- Ensure that all lawn equipment is properly stored. Keep any sharp elements outside of your children’s reach. Remember, kids love to imitate their parents’ behaviour, and if they have seen you working in the garden, they will probably try to copy you.
- Make sure that all lawn care chemicals are properly labelled, and kept in their original containers and out of your children’s reach.
- Follow the instructions when using lawn treatments. Make sure that you understand what to do in case of accidents.
- Try using organic compost. You will not only keep your children safer, but also help to maintain a more sustainable environment.
- Create explicit playing rules, and make sure that your children understand them. Ask them to repeat the rules.
- Supervise your children. There is no substitute for the alert eye of a responsible adult. Let them play and climb trees. It is part of your kids’ development. But always remember that their level of understanding is limited according to their age.
- Have a proper lighting system. It will allow for a safe night playing.
The playground area is particularly important, because along with the swimming pool, it is very often used by the kids. So, here are some points to consider:
- Supervise your children. There is no substitute for proper child supervision. Don’t do other tasks while checking on them. Don’t drink alcohol, because it will diminish your capacity to react to an emergency.
- Have age-appropriate playground equipment. Kids should play on equipment that is adequate to their age and skill level.
- Make sure that your kids are properly dressed. Avoid scarves, necklaces or any other attire that could become caught in the equipment.
- Don’t suspend more than two swing seats together. Make sure that the support structure is strong enough.
- Have all platforms, ramps and ladders with adequate guardrails.
- Don’t place your playground equipment indoors or on hard floors.
The barbecue area
The barbecue area is also important when it comes to children’s safety. Most barbecue accidents happen in home settings. These are a few recommendations that will help ensure the wellbeing of your loved ones:
- Don’t leave a lit barbecue unattended. Fires can be an attraction to curious kids, who don’t know the danger. So, make sure that there is always an adult checking the area.
- Keep the barbecue area properly ventilated. There must be no obstructions to airflow.
- Don’t move a lit barbecue. A false movement can have dire consequences.
- And finally, make sure that you have a working fire extinguisher close by.