While you’re probably glad to see the sunshine again after months of winter, especially since it means you can finally send your active kids outdoors to burn off some energy, your top priority as a parent is to ensure their safety. This means keeping the backyard environment is clean, explaining the rules for appropriate behavior, and keeping a watchful eye on your children to make sure that they’re not doing anything dangerous. Here are just a few backyard safety tips that will help to keep your kids in good condition and having a grand time all summer long.
Discuss pool rules. Even if you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, kids may have access to pools at friend’s houses, or they might make trips to the public pool. And because children are at a high risk for drowning, you want to make sure they know the rules so that they behave properly any time they go swimming. For example, you don’t want them running near the pool or roughhousing in the water. They should also stay away from drains, which have been known to suck in and trap tiny arms and legs. And make it very clear that they are NEVER to go in the water without an adult or a lifeguard present. If you have a pool in your own yard, exercise safety precautions by surrounding the area with a tall fence and a locked gate and make sure to install drain covers to protect your kids.
Wear plenty of sunblock. If you like to get your kids outdoors, running around in the fresh air and sunshine, you need to make sure that they are protected from the potential damage of UV rays. For one thing, it’s going to prove uncomfortable if they burn their sensitive skin. But studies have also shown that the number of serious sunburns you suffer and the age at which you experience them can have a major impact on your odds for developing skin cancer later in life. This makes it doubly important to protect your children and their future.
Stay hydrated. One of the big risks that many people tend to forget about during the hot summer months is dehydration. Any time you send your kids out back to run around in the heat you need to remember to provide them with plenty of liquid refreshments, and water is the best bet. Anything that is mostly water is also acceptable, and lemonade, juice, and other non-caffeinated beverages will fit the bill.
Don’t play with things that aren’t toys. Kids have pretty big imaginations, and they can turn almost anything into a toy. So it’s a good idea to get a locked storage shed for anything that could be dangerous, including mechanical tools, gardening tools, and other lawn care items like fertilizer and pesticides. You should also take pains to exclude potentially poisonous plants from your backyard landscaping.
Be careful with play equipment. Your backyard will become the neighborhood hangout when you install a Best in Backyards play set or trampoline, but if you want to create a safe backyard for kids to play in you need to make sure that there are rules in place to prevent roughhousing and risk-taking that could lead to accident and injury. And you should always keep an eye on your kids to make sure they’re behaving in a safe manner. This will guarantee that the backyard fun lasts all summer long.