Backyard safety: keep spring hazards at bay for kids and pets and enjoy the beautiful season with confidence while knowing your family is safe. From outdoor grilling to working in the garden, spring offers wonderful opportunities to get outside and take advantage of warmer weather.
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Backyard safety: Keep spring hazards at bay for kids and pets
Spring is on its way, and both your kids and pets will be thrilled to finally spend some quality time in the backyard. But, before they do, there are a few things you need to do now to make sure that the backyard will be safe for them.
Prepare Your Pool
Pool safety is a very serious issue. The CDC reports that there are about 10 fatal drownings a day in the United States. Two of these deaths are children under 14. Each day, 10 more children are saved after a drowning incident, but they may still suffer brain injuries and other serious complications.
Before you open up your pool, Pool Safety recommends that you check your drain covers are working properly. You should also have a fence installed around the pool that is at least 4 feet high.
The fence must have a child-proof gate to prevent kids or pets from wandering into the waters. If you already have a fence, take the time to ensure that nothing has damaged or weakened it over the winter.
Also be sure that you have pool alarms installed so that you will be alerted if the worst happens. If the alarms are battery powered, buy some spares now so you will be able to change them immediately if they die during the spring or summer.
If you don’t know how to perform CPR, especially on children, now is the time to take a course before the warm weather tempts your kids out to the pool. You should also sign children up for swimming courses before they fill up.
For many families, welcoming the warm weather with a barbecue is a cherished tradition. But, while you’re taking your grill out of storage, make sure that you’re placing it safely.
David Markenson MD., the chairman of the Advisory Council on First Aid and Safety for the Red Cross, told Prevention that a grill should always be placed 10 feet away from flammable surfaces. This includes fences, the side of your home, plants, and wooden decor.
The National Fire Prevention Agency has more tips, including that you should check your gas tank and hose for potential leaks if you use a propane grill. If you use charcoal instead, the NFPA suggests storing the charcoal and lighter fluid securely and away from children.
You should also have a working fire extinguisher nearby while you’re grilling.
Gardens and Pesticides
Greenery can hide many hazards that small children and pets are liable to stumble across. For example, some plants are irritating or poisonous to humans and animals, even though they are sold in garden centers. It’s important to research any plant before you bring it into your yard this spring.
A few common and harmful plants include:
- Rhubarb (the leaves)
- Bleeding Heart (the leaves and foliage)
- Iris (the stems)
- Jimson Weed
If you use chemicals in the yard, you should make sure they are properly stored. And, before your first application of the year, you should use covers to protect furniture from chemicals. Don’t forget to remove sources of water (like bird baths) and children’s or pets’ toys from the yard before your spring spraying. Read Gardening Hacks for Busy People here.
Spring is a joyful time of year and with a few, simple preparations, you can make it a safe time of year, too. Learn more about your planting zones here.
Guest post by Clara Beaufort @ Gardener Gigs