|Owning a home with a yard comes with tons of opportunities: you can relax in the sun with a good book, host a backyard barbecue, plant a vegetable garden, or send your kids outside to burn off some energy. It is your space, and you should be able to make the most of it.
Part of making sure you can enjoy your yard to the fullest is keeping it safe—especially for children and pets.
|Secure potential hazards
Before sending your kids or pets out to play, walk through your yard and look for things that could be dangerous.
- Store tools and chemicals in a secure area.
- Check for sharp objects, standing water and things that could cause trips or falls.
- Make sure your sandbox is covered if it is not in use.
- Prevent kids and pets from going near stacks of firewood—there is potential danger from splinters, falls, insects and snakes.
- Be sure your garbage is secure, and the lid is tight to prevent your pets and kids from getting into it. An unsecured garbage could also attract unwanted pests that are dangerous to your animals.
- Remember that many plants are hazardous to dogs and cats. Learn about the plants in your yard and make sure that the pets cannot access any that are toxic.
- Be cautious when using lawn chemicals, fertilizer, and pesticides. Look for pet-safe products and plan to keep children and pets off your lawn for 24 hours after using most chemicals. Then water the lawn before sending them out to play.
Provide a secure space.
- Consider building a tall, secure fence with self-latching gates.
- Make sure yard playground sets are securely anchored.
- Cover window wells to prevent falls and injuries.
Know when supervision is needed.
Every home is unique, and your kids’ needs will vary depending on their age and maturity. However, the following situations merit extra caution.
- Never leave young children unattended near water. This includes obvious hazards like pools but remember even a few inches can be dangerous.
- Be extra careful when children and pets are playing in the front yard near a road so no one runs out into danger while playing tag or chasing a ball.
- Stay nearby any time an outdoor grill or fire pit is in use to prevent burns and uncontrolled fires.