Spring and summer are great seasons for spending time outside with your kids. Since kids can quickly find trouble, our childproofing experts wanted to share safety tips to help you enjoy the great outdoors and prevent injuries.
#1: Designate an adult who will supervise the children.
This is especially important at parties, pools or other bodies of water when adults might make the assumption that someone else is watching the children. Be very clear with designating an adult who will supervise the kids and avoid using a cell phone, even when lifeguards are on duty.
“Unfortunately, too many drownings occur at pool parties with many adults present – everyone thinks someone else is watching, when, in reality, no one is watching.” PoolSafely.gov
#2: Look for climbing risks.
Your deck might meet current building codes BUT still pose a hazard to your child. Decorative cut-outs or designs in your railing might make it easier for little climbers. Also, ensure all furniture and planters are placed far away from the edge of your deck, especially with elevated decks. Supervision is still very important since young children might move chairs. Consider a new railing, a railing guard or plan ahead if you are designing a new deck – not all contractors will be thinking about child safety with deck design.
#3: Inspect your deck, fence and outdoor furniture.
Check for protruding screws or other hardware. You might be surprised at how often our childproofing pros see decks or custom gates with protruding hardware that could cause lacerations or other serious injuries. Avoid using glass furniture. Also, check the spaces between railings or handrails to ensure they are less than four (4) inches to prevent entrapment. Railing guards can be installed to address wide spaces.
#4: Wading pools and buckets are a drowning risk.
Don’t forget that buckets and wading pools are a drowning risk. Empty small wading pools and buckets after each use. Store empty buckets indoors – rainy days might create a risk that you were not thinking about.
#5: Safely store garden chemicals and tools.
It’s important to safely store chemicals and dangerous tools. “Chemicals used around the garden can be dangerous not only to a child but also a parent using them. Just like with poisons in the house, keep gardening chemicals locked up and out of reach,” advises Rick Leviton from Precious Baby Protectors in Texas.
#6: Prevent burns.
With warm days and grilling, there are multiple burn risks in the great outdoors. Ensure children wear shoes to protect their little feet and avoid letting them crawl on decks – the surface can be extremely hot, especially composite deck materials. When grilling, never leave a hot grill unattended. Remember both the grill and charcoal stay hot for quite a long time. Don’t forget to talk to your pediatrician about sunburn protection.
#7: Keep children indoors when mowing the grass.
Objects in the lawn (twigs, rocks, etc.) may become projectiles or adults might not see a toddler approach them when mowing, exposing them to blades or other lawn mower hazards. Do not let children ride with you on a lawn mower.
#8: Driveways are a hazard zone.
According to KidsandCars.org, thousands of children are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. A backover incident typically takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space. All vehicles have blindzones so if a young toddler wanders in front of or behind your SUV, you might not see him or her. Rearview cameras can be installed on any vehicle to assist drivers and prevent tragedies.