The most common time and place for a child to be injured is during the summer in and around the home.
If you haven’t taken a summer safety inventory of your backyard, now is the time to do so. As you look for hidden hazards and safety traps, consider:
1. Broken play structures.
Are your swing sets anchored down on level ground? Is there a soft ground covering underneath? Are there any loose screws or bolts, sharp edges or warped plastic?
Do you get your lawn serviced? Have you reevaluated what products are used since you’ve had children? Do you know what is in your lawn and garden products? Are they safe for children?
3. Toxic plants.
Do you know what is growing in your backyard? Have your familiarized yourself with poisonous plants and trees common to your area? Have you asked your landscaper if there is anything growing to be cautious of?
Is your deck warped? Are the any loose areas? Is your deck up to code? What about the rail slats? Do they need netting or plastic covering to prevent your child from falling or becoming trapped?
5. Incest nests.
Have you checked the eves of your house for nests? What about covered grills and the tree house? What is your child’s sting potential in your backyard?
Is the patio safe? Are there any uneven or cracked parts that could post a tripping hazard to your child?
Does your pool have a fence, gate and working lock? Are pool chemicals stored out of sight and reach? Is your plastic kiddie pool free from cracks that could expose sharp edges?
Is your grill at least 10 feet from your house? Do you have a place for disposing hot coals? Are your grill accessories stored out of sight and out of reach?
9. Standing water.
Are all buckets emptied? Is there standing water anywhere that should be dumped?
10. Power tools.
Are your lawn, garden and power tools appropriately secured? Are the gas canisters stored properly? Does the safety devise on each piece of equipment work?
Taking inventory can help you to access your backyard and address any safety issues that you discover. Taking precautions and eliminating or at least minimizing risks can help to decrease your chances that your child suffers a backyard injury this summer.