Everything changes when you have children. Suddenly the warm and comfortable home you know and love becomes a danger zone with all sorts of accidents waiting to happen. Suddenly, you need to baby and childproof things you didn't even know you could baby proof or childproof! For example, is your yard a safe and secure place for your child to play?
Where's The Lawn Mower?
Did you know 68,000 children are involved in a lawnmower-related accident every single year? That's a few children shy of 190 children every single day. These injuries include burns, deep gashes, losing limbs, crushed bones, and broken bones. A large portion of these injuries involves one and two-year-olds during the summer months when the children spend a significant amount of time outside.
So, here's how you can childproof your lawnmower:
- •Lock the lawnmower (and any other power tools for that matter) up in a shed or garage. Children should NOT be able to access them.
- •Keep your children inside while you are cutting the grass.
- •Gasoline and motor oil for your lawnmower should also be locked away from the children.
Is The Ground Soft or Hard?
Ideal grounds in your yard for children to play on should be cushioned and soft. Furthermore, ground coverings similar to pea gravel should be completely avoided. After all, the pieces of gravel are so small your child could get them in his/her mouth and choke! Gras, faux grass, and padded foam are excellent ground cover options. This option will cushion a fall so much better than a brick or concrete surface.
Pool and Water Safety
The news is riddled with too many stories about children drowning in swimming pools, ponds, creeks, and other water sources. It is vital to take proper safety measures to secure pools and other sources of water. If you have a pool in your yard, it needs to be surrounded by a barrier (fence) that is at least five feet tall. Ideally, the fence should be locked, and your children should not be able to get to the pool without you.
Check Playground and Yard Equipment
It is important to get out there and inspect the playground and yard equipment to make sure it is safe and secure. If it isn't secure, you need to secure it or question whether or not it needs to be replaced.
Cushion Corners and Sharp Edges
If you have lawn furniture, try to stick to furniture with curved edges. Otherwise, you need to find ways to cushion them. If you have any sharp corners in the landscaping (such as via steps or a retaining wall) consider using plants to cushion them. Just make sure you are only using plants that are non-toxic as it is not uncommon for children to try eating plants while they play.
You might be asking yourself – what is the age cut-off for baby and childproofing your yard. Is there an age where you are being overprotective and shouldn't worry so much? The answer is – not really. Older kids are just as prone to getting hurt while they are playing in your yard. It is better to be overprotective and keep your child safe, then to be under-protective and wish you would have done more.