We all know how much our little ones and pets love to be outside, and the backyard is a great place to let them fulfill their desire to be outdoors without the worries of harsh terrain, water or wildlife harming them. However, have you done a safety assessment on your own backyard lately? There are several things you need to check out before you let the kiddos and their furry siblings run free.
Know What Plants You Have
A variety of common garden plants can be harmful to children and pets. The most apparent risks come from thorny plant varieties, as they can easily rip through clothing or cut the skin. These include dry climate plants such as cactus, agave and aloe, plants with prickly leaves such as holly or King Sago bushes, and bramble vines that grow blackberries and raspberries. A wide variety of flowers, such as Morning Glory and Oleander, are poisonous if ingested, so it is best to either remove these flower species if it’s in your garden or refrain from planting them.
Eliminate Tripping Hazards
Scan your backyard for any yard equipment that could easily trip children and pets. Look out for knocked over rakes and shovels, loose garden hoses or sprinklers. Place yard equipment into a shed, a utility closet or along the side of your house. Have a garden hose hanger installed keep your hose neat and off the ground. Unfortunately, yard items aren’t the only things that pose risks. You definitely want to be careful of any tree roots above ground. Frank’s Tree Service warns that young children and pets are especially prone to tripping over old tree stumps, and the risk only increases at night when it is more difficult to see.
Set Up Enclosures Where Needed
If you want ultimate peace of mind while your kids and pets play outside, a fully fenced in backyard is a great investment if you don’t already have one. Specialty Pool Products suggests that with a secure fence, the chances of them wandering away from the home are much lower. If you have a pool, you’ll definitely need to set up a gate specifically for the pool area or invest in a high-quality pool cover to avoid accidental drowning.
Now you know just how not-so-safe our own backyards can be for kids and pets. Take every step to make your yard a safe space for running and playing so that you can kick back and relax while they tire themselves out.