Eliminate Hazards Now to Make Your Lawn Safe for Children and Pets This Summer
With warmer weather and flowers in bloom, summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy your lawn and garden. Spending more time outside is fun for the whole family, but your lawn can also be hazardous for children and pets. In order to make the most of the warmer weather to come, take a little time now to make sure everyone can enjoy time spent outdoors safely.
Check for Common Lawn Hazards
● Natural materials - Your lawn is obviously going to have natural materials, and most are safe, but some can be hazardous for small children. Check for sticks and limbs that point out anywhere that kids may be running around. If you have a woodpile, secure it so it’s off limits to kids. Climbing a woodpile may seem like fun to little ones, but it could easily topple.
● Fixtures and furniture - Use soft padding to cover sharp outdoor fixtures like faucets that could cause injury if a small child bumped into them. Outdoor furniture can also be sharp, so check for any corners that protrude and use cushions to provide a soft and safe spot for little ones.
● Pool safety - Pools are great fun for children, but they are also a big safety hazard. Learning to swim is the best way to prevent drowning, so any kids who are around pools often should have swimming lessons. You can’t ensure that every child who is around the pool will be a strong swimmer, though, so another important part of pool safety is preventing accidents. You may want to install an alarm or fencing to keep children from wandering too close and falling in.
● Fire pits - Fire pits can be hazardous even when they aren’t in use because they are usually in an open space, creating a trip hazard where kids like to run. A safer alternative to a structure built into the property would be something smaller that can be moved out of the way when you aren’t using it.
Make Sure Play Equipment is Safe and Secure
Even if you have purchased the safest swing set on the market, anything outdoors endures a little wear and tear. Before warmer weather arrives, do a thorough inspection of outdoor play equipment to make sure everything is still in good shape. Check for deterioration of any materials, and inspect bolts to make sure they’re all tightened and bolt covers are in place. You should also have a soft surface on the ground around play equipment, such as mulch, that you replenish periodically.
Make Sure Plants Are Non-Toxic
Plants and flowers give life to your lawn, but it’s important to choose the right ones and be mindful about how you care for them. With both small children and pets, you can’t always control what goes into their mouths. Consult a list, such as Epic Gardening’s guide to which common plants are toxic and which ones are not toxic to people and animals. Don’t forget that some fruits and vegetables, including grapes and onions, are perfectly safe for humans but are toxic to animals. Along the same lines, keep in mind that grapes and cherry tomatoes can be a choking hazard for small children.
The way you care for plants can be just as dangerous, so you may want to opt for safer alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Keep plants healthy by starting with rich, organic soil, compost, and organic mulch. Encourage good bugs that prey on the ones you don’t want by planting flowers that attract them. Birds and Blooms Magazine also recommends using natural options for pest control. Just be sure that whatever natural choice you use is safe for kids and pets, or border off flower beds so that they aren’t accidentally ingested.
If you have kids or pets, you have probably already gone through your home to eliminate hazards. When the weather gets warmer, your lawn is like another room in your home. Take the time to do a thorough safety check now so that you’re ready to enjoy the outdoors as soon as warmer weather arrives.
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