Children need fresh air and sunlight to flourish into happy, healthy adults. Unfortunately, there are some potential dangers that your children can encounter while playing outside in your yard. You can increase the safety of your children by applying these four suggestions to your yard and property.
Install A Fence
One of the most efficient ways to make your yard safe for kids is to install a fence around the perimeter of your property. A fence will provide multiple benefits. When your children are younger, it prevents them from wandering off, especially for those youngest children you didn’t mean to let toddle into the yard in the first place. It also protects them from neighborhood strays that may wander through the area while they play. The most important benefit, however, is the prevention of trespassers from entering your property who may wish to harm your children. Leaving your children to play in the yard will be much easier when you know exactly what’s in it and that nothing unexpected will be coming through.
Fix Cracks and Holes in Concrete
Heavy foot traffic, caustic chemicals, and constant vehicle usage can cause the concrete on your property to weaken and crack. These cracks can cause children to trip and fall and are especially dangerous for those children on skates, scooters, and bikes. Bare concrete is the last place you want your children to fall, so it’s important to ensure that it is level and unbroken. This is a moderately complicated task that will require the help of concrete pavers, who will handle the concrete pumping and the blocking off of sections of your yard. While the end result increases the safety of your yard, your children should definitely not be allowed to wander free while the concrete is being poured and set, so schedule this property renovation for a time that the children will be supervised.
Mind What You Plant
In a home that has no children, you are entirely free to plant whatever type of exotic plant life your heart desires. On the other hand, those with small children know that babies and toddlers alike explore the world through their mouths. Even older children, if not properly educated on the toxicity of the plants in their yard, have been known to put plants in their mouths on a dare or just out of curiosity. Parents should take great care when deciding which types of flora aren’t safe to plant in a home garden. Daffodils, certain species of lilies, foxgloves, and English ivy are common decorative garden plants that are highly toxic to children. Most grass is perfectly safe if your child happens to ingest it, and roses are actually related to apples and perfectly edible (so long as you don’t use pesticides.) The thorns, however, may not be ideal for homes with very young children.
Softer Ground for Climbing Sets
Children love to climb, and it is very beneficial for the development of their coordination and balance to do so. However, what comes up must come down, and climbing up high bears the risk of falling back down. If you want to provide your children with playground sets, tree houses, and jungle gyms, then you’ll want to be sure that the proper material is installed beneath it to catch them. The ground beneath climbing areas can be dug up and filled will things like wood chips to ensure a softer landing. To avoid the risk of splinters, you can also use recycled tire bits. Tire bits, however, are best suited for children over the age of 5 who can be told not to put them in their mouths. Creating softer ground like this will make falls from higher areas much safer and vastly reduce the likelihood of the need to rush your children to the emergency room for broken bones or a concussion.
While all of these methods can create a vastly safer outdoor environment for your children, supervision is the ultimate way to make your yard safe for your kids. Children under the age of 5 should be kept under supervision whenever they go outside, and children under the age of 8 should be supervised whenever they are in the front yard where they could run into the road. All children under the age of 12 should have a supervising adult on your property, in or out of the house in the event that there is an emergency. No matter how many safety precautions you take, children have a miraculous way of surprising their parents with the trouble they find.
By Meghan Belnap