The summer months mean spending more time outdoors and enjoying the warm summer sun, fresh air, and time with our kids. However, our outdoor spaces could also be dangerous places. According to the CDC Childhood Injury Report, each year, over 12,000 individuals ages 0 to 19 die due to unintentional injuries. Lets make your outdoor space safe and secure for your kids.
Among the common causes of these unintentional deaths are suffocation, drowning, vehicular accidents, and falling.
Having children under our care means taking a few easy safety steps to prevent any of these unfortunate and deadly injuries. Here are some of the few things parents and guardians should keep in mind.
1. Put Padding on Your Furniture
Most furniture, be it outdoor or indoor ones, have sharp corners and bars sticking out. With our little ones running around, their chances of bumping into these pointy corners are highly likely. Particularly, they are likely to hit tables and chairs.
What you can do, though, is to replace your furniture with sharp edges with smoother ones. However, if you want to avoid splurging or spend money, you can simply pad your existing ones. Doing these helps prevent any accidents while your kids are playing outside.
2. Mind the Fixtures
As the temperature increases, our garden fixtures made of metal, such as hose nozzles, can get extremely hot if left sitting under the sun. Your little kids might touch them accidentally, causing minor burns. So, it is best to keep them under the shade or tuck them away when not in use.
Also, protruding hard fixtures should be covered. Sharp furniture edges should also be covered, as your kids might bump into them. Outdoor electrical sockets should also be covered to prevent electrocution.
3. Remove Poisonous Plants and Flowers
Older kids know better not to touch or eat unfamiliar vegetation. However, toddlers cannot resist touching or even eating plants they find appealing. If ingested, it could turn deadly for your child.
So, before allowing your children to roam around your garden this summer, make sure to remove any plants that contain dangerous toxins. However, if they are unavoidable, make sure to create a barrier to prevent your kids and even pets from making contact with these plants.
4. Check the Play Structures
Make sure that you place any play structure on level ground. Even a slight bulge on the surface could cause the structure to tip over, especially when kids start climbing on it. Over time, the ground’s surface changes due to varying weather conditions. Thus, it is very important to inspect the play area.
With respect to the play equipment pieces, make sure you purchase them from a reputable source. When installing them, be sure to follow the safety directions carefully. Ensure that there are no hazards and that the structures are age-appropriate for your kids.
5. Opt for Soft Landing Spots
Kids are bound to trip and fall when running as they play and run around your garden. Though concrete or gravel flooring is cheaper and easier to maintain, it is best if you grow grass on your lawn. You need to ensure your kids have a soft landing spot in case they trip over.
6. Keep It Fenced and Gated
Just as you want to keep your pets contained, you also want to make sure your kids do not wander off while playing in your yard.
Look for swimming pool fences for sale and have them installed to ensure your kid does not stray to the pool area. A boundary wall also offers security and privacy for the whole family. Opt for self-closing or self-latching gates just in case someone leaves the gates open unintentionally.
7. Secure Gardening Tools and Grill Equipment
Summer months also mean frequent barbecue nights in your yard. When grilling, ensure that your kids are at a safe distance. All the activities going on while grilling could harm your kids if they are close by, especially the flames that could be flying around.
After grilling, ensure you store away all utensils, propane tanks, and other barbecue-related items.
Final Words: Establish Safety Rules and Maintain Supervision
Apart from taking these safety measures, establishing safety rules with your kids is also important. Jot down these rules you have established on a piece of paper and place them somewhere visible for all. These are some of the few safety guidelines you might want to impose:
- No roughhousing while climbing walls or playing on slides or swings.
- Keep bicycles, books, and other personal items away from the play area to avoid trips and falls.
- Remove jewelry and, if possible, wear closed-toed shoes when playing.
Parents and guardians should also maintain close and active supervision while kids are playing. Taking these pieces of advice, you can build a safe outdoor space for your whole family to enjoy.Having children under our care means taking a few easy safety steps to prevent any of these unfortunate and deadly injuries.