When raising children you never get to turn off your internal safety alarms, but summer can really send a parent into high alert. Between pools and bees, ticks and grills – something always seems to be threatening your child. What can you do to keep them safe?
Though there’s no such thing as a 100% child proof environment, there are many steps you can take to protect your children. Start prepping now for peace of mind this summer.
If your family likes to grill during the summer – and who doesn’t like keeping the extra heat outdoors? – you need to emphasize fire safety with your children. This can be especially difficult when it comes to grilling because mom or dad is standing at the stove and clingy little ones want to be right there with them. In other cases, playing children may come running by and risk jostling the grill.
To keep kids clear of grilling danger, designate a 3-foot area around the grill as a kid free zone. If your kids are too young to understand this concept or you think they’re likely to ignore or forget the role, use a small freestanding baby gate to block off the area or put down a large square in tape marking off the area they need to avoid while you’re cooking.
Mind Your Lawn Furniture
Whether you’re sitting poolside while the kids splash or just catching some rays, you may want to put out some lawn furniture during the summer months. While you’re cleaning your outdoor furniture, take a second to check for rust or folding points that could pinch little fingers. Plastic or wicker lawn furniture is typically safer than old school metal beach chairs for this reason.
Be Water Aware
There are two major hazards that can arise from water in your yard: drowning and mosquitoes. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4, so it’s absolutely vital that you fence off your pool, install a cover or alarm, and never let your children swim unattended. The fence around your pool should be securely locked so that children can’t get in without help. It’s also worth enrolling your child in swimming lessons at a young age to decrease their risk of drowning.
Mosquitoes thrive where there is standing water and no amount of bug spray will prevent bites if your kids are playing in a breeding ground. And while far fewer people are severely allergic to mosquitoes the way they’re allergic to bees, mosquitoes can still spread diseases and reactions on small children can be severe. Getting rid of standing water in buckets and toys can help reduce the mosquito population in your yard.
Help everyone have a fun, safe summer by prepping your yard for fun. As you perform your spring maintenance – refinishing the deck, cleaning the grill, and putting in plants – get down low and look for the dangers that might tempt tiny frolickers. Approach childproofing your backyard the same way you’d approach the inside of your home and you’ll set yourself up for success.