When school lets out for the summer, kids will be heading outside more often to climb and swing on the playset, run around in the yard and splash in the pool. But regardless of the outdoor activity, make sure they always use sunscreen and stay hydrated. Of course, while summer is a great time for backyard fun, injuries can end the fun fast, so consider taking some simple steps to make your backyard safe for hours of endless entertainment.
- Make sure swing sets and other play equipment are on level ground and the legs are properly anchored with hardware that doesn’t pose a tripping or gouging hazard.
- Inspect swing sets to ensure bolts and screws are secure and replace rusty parts.
- Put wood chips, shredded rubber or other soft landing material underneath the set.
- Ensure 6 feet of clearance on all sides and check that swings are at least 8 inches apart.
By the pool
- Make it a rule that an adult must be present whenever children are in or around the pool.
- Install a fence that’s at least 4 feet high with a self-closing and self-latching gate.
- Be sure drains are covered and your suction system has an automatic shutdown; suction entrapment can lead to drowning.
- Make sure pool slides, stairs and diving boards are secure and in good condition.
- Place pool chemicals in a secure area where kids and pets can’t access them.
- Empty kiddie pools after every use.
In the yard
- Be on the lookout for dead trees or branches that could fall and hurt someone.
- Fill in any holes that could cause tripping or a twisted ankle.
- Scan your yard for poison ivy or oak and, if you find some, treat the area and alert kids to stay clear.
Guard the grill
- Establish a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around the grill.
- Never leave a grill in use unattended.
- Place the grill well away from siding, deck railings and overhanging branches and a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic.
By taking these steps you can ensure a safe summer for the kids.