I have another great guest post from Zara Lewis to share with you today! Zara always writes the best posts and provides great information to her readers. Enjoy!
With spring just around the corner, we yearn to go outside and spend time outdoors as much as possible. Children are the first to be drawn outdoors, and you cannot really blame them. Indeed, a hot season brings a set of outdoor activities, but the problem is that it also comes with safety concerns and hazards. Numerous injuries occur in the backyard, where parents foolishly assume their kids are safe. Well, they have endless curiosity and possess near-infinite amounts of energy, which may put them at a risk of a serious injury.
Hence, outdoor activities call for special precautionary measures. The first thing to realize is that nicer weather does not imply risk-free conditions. First off, spring brings forth such weather conditions which usually cause allergy symptoms. Children with asthma, pollen, and insect allergies are specifically prone to such problems. Thus, consult with a doctor, get proper medication, and try to avoid allergy triggers. Summer is also accompanied by its own risks, most commonly sunburn and heatstroke. This is the time for sunscreen, shades, hat, as well as bottles of water for hydration.
Backyard swimming pools are particularly dangerous for kids. Infants and toddlers can drown in much less water, which means their access to the pool must be restricted at all times. And once they are old enough, kids can learn how to swim and tread water safely. Still, swimming alone and without adult supervision or a lifejacket is not advisable. Also, note that the area around the pool is slippery and gives rise to the falls. Fortunately, you can use a non slip mat as an easy and inexpensive slip resistant solution. They come in various sizes and are intended for wet and outdoor areas.
This brings us to the point that in order to prevent other falls, one has to ensure that the outdoor furnishings have a soft surfacing underneath it. Sand, rubber mulch, pea gravel, and wood chips mitigate the impact from falling, unlike grass and dirt. The depth of the surface material depends on the height of the equipment. Swings, for example, require deeper surfacing, which should extend twice the suspension bar. In addition, all equipment which features moving parts is to be located separately from the rest.
Generally, playground equipment and toys are of different sizes and proportions and are typically designed for three age groups: infants and toddlers (under two years old), preschoolers (2-5 years old), and school-age kids (5 to 12 years old). Apart from adhering to this strict rule, it goes without saying that the maintenance, as well as durability and quality of equipment, are paramount to its safe use. Moreover, inspect everything thoroughly and double-check that there are no pinch points or spaces that could trap a kid’s head, arm, or some other body part.
Furthermore, the equipment should be placed in the shade, away from the pavement, fences, trees, walkways, etc. All protruding bolts and screws must be covered with plastic safety caps and permanent equipment anchored to the ground. Of course, children also ought to know how to use the equipment properly. And in case they play sports, make sure they wear protective gear. Helmets, for instance, are an absolute must for bicycles, roller skates, ride-on toys, and skateboards. On the other hand, safety straps are a good way to secure children in strollers.
Play by the book
A backyard is always preferable to unattended, impromptu playgrounds, especially if it is properly maintained and fenced. Running into surrounding traffic, though, is one of the most dangerous risks when it comes to the yards. Thus, keep the gates locked and install childproof latches for extra safety. Likewise, children have no business wandering around places like sheds, garages, and barns. Finally, check out the area where they play and remove any sharp objects, tools, branches, rocks, tree stumps, trash, animal feces, etc.
A safe haven
Playing in the backyard is a natural pastime for many kids, but it requires careful monitoring and planning. Prevention is, hands down, the best strategy to ensure safety, so keep your eyes open for faulty equipment, careless behavior, and improper surfaces. Remember that children of different ages have varying developmental needs and abilities. Assemble a safe outdoor sanctuary for children to learn about the world, get active, enjoy fresh air, and have loads of fun.
Keep the lawn maintained
Sharp objects aren’t your own worry in the backyard. Rodents, snakes and pests such as fire ants and mosquitos should also be considered when keeping your backyard accident proof. Fortunately, proper lawn care practices can solve most of these problems. The lawn should be mowed with a sharp mower blade at least once every two weeks. Neglecting to do so and letting grass grow taller than six inches creates the perfect camouflage and habitat for snakes and rodents. A lush, green and healthy lawn also has softer grass and is easier for children to run barefoot across. To keep your lawn healthy, remember to never cut off more than a third of the grass blade at a time and water the lawn at least one inch every week. But be careful which days of the week you water the lawn to avoid fines. For example, in Cincinnati home owners can only water their lawn depending on which day of the week it is.
If you liked Zara’s post above, check out her other guest posts she’s provided to Go Ask Your Daddy:
- Sandwich Generation’s Problem – Coordinating Family and Parents’ Care
- How to Comfort a Kid With A Fever
- The Fall Outdoor Activities to Entertain Bored Kids
- How to Get Your Kids Dressed for Special Occasions (Dos and Don’ts)
- Fun Sport Activities for the Whole Family