Is Your Backyard Safe? 5 Summer Safety Tips to Consider
Summer is on its way, and with it you may expect an occasional skinned knee or sunburn. Sometimes, while you’re busy planning backyard barbecues or playground playdates, it can be easy to forget that injuries may occur in your own backyard. Consider these tips on how to spot and remove the following backyard safety hazards.
1. Find and Fill Holes in Your Yard
From dying tree roots to digging critters, holes in your yard may be a potential source of injuries for your friends and family. Consider doing a thorough walkthrough of your front and back yards. Be sure to examine the ground and grass for loose soil and holes that may cause a twisted ankle or tripping. Fill any holes with soil and if you feel you have a recurring pest issue, you may want to call a professional for help.
2. Grill With Caution
You may have been dreaming of throwing a backyard barbecue since winter. But careless grilling may cause burns or fires. Before you start cooking up that first burger of the summer, consider these tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Check your gas grill for hose leaks, blockages and holes.
- Never step away from the grill while it’s on.
- If using a charcoal grill, wait for the coals to cool completely before disposing.
3. Test Playgrounds for Safety
With kids out of school, you may notice your backyard playset getting more use. However, improperly constructed or neglected play structures may potentially cause injuries to children. According to Consumer Reports, be sure to check your backyard swing set for the following:
- All playgrounds should be built on level ground. Swing sets should also have a soft landing area.
- Be sure there’s enough clearance around the swing set — at least 6 feet on all sides.
- Look over the playset to make sure there aren’t any loose screws, bolts or nails.
4. Brush Up on Home Swimming Pool Safety
- Never allow children to swim unsupervised. Designate an adult to watch them at all times.
- Use a sturdy pool cover for times when your pool isn’t in use.
- Install a fence around your pool.
- Check your pool’s drain and suction covers. If they are missing or broken, repair them immediately. Faulty drains may cause accidental entrapment.
5. Be Careful With Pesticides
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the only way to help eliminate the risk of pesticide poisoning is using non-chemical methods to help control your pest problems. That means making sure you don’t have any standing water or leaky pipes in your yard and getting rid of pest habitats, like leaf debris or neglected woodpiles. If you must use pesticides, keep these safety tips in mind from the EPA:
- Don’t apply pesticides while children or pets are nearby, and don’t allow them near the area of application until the pesticides have dried.
- When applying the pesticide, remember that wind may blow the spray further than your intended area of use. Avoid using pesticides during windy days.
- Wear protective clothing including long sleeves and eye protection while using pesticides and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.
- Never use more pesticide than the manufacturer’s recommended amount.
Doing a handful of preventative measures now may help you and your family enjoy your backyard more safely this summer
Originally published on June 5, 2011.