There are few places children love more than the back yard. Whether a youngster uses it to explore nature, practice sports or just plain play in the dirt, it’s a special spot where imaginations run wild, friendships are formed and healthy habits are honed. Before letting your little one loose, however, try these tips to ensure your child’s wild space is a safe space.
When given the opportunity, children love to run. To keep your kiddo’s exercise from turning into an emergency room visit, carefully check your yard for impediments like stones, stumps and holes. These obstacles can trip up tots and result in cuts, scrapes and even broken bones.
With the great outdoors come creatures of all shapes and sizes. Consider what pests pose a problem for your children and take appropriate measures. Ticks are one back yard bad guy that can bring about serious conditions such as Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If you live in an area at risk for tick infestation, consider preventative measures such as organic tick control and keep exposed skin at a minimum.
Just like creepy crawlies, there are plenty of plants that can present health risks. Poison ivy, oak and sumac grow throughout the United States and even minimal contact with these plants will leave one with a serious rash and blisters. Other plants pose a more severe danger if ingested. Species like golden dewdrop or deadly nightshade have attractive berries that look edible, but eating these plants has dire consequences. Eliminate any fatal flora you may find on your property.
Keeping your little one safe in your yard also means keeping him or her in your yard. A ball- or butterfly-chasing child may run into the street entirely unaware of oncoming traffic. To keep this from happening, install a fence around your property and make sure the gate is always closed and locked.
Playing can be a positive experience for a child. Help your little one learn to love the outdoors by safe-proofing your yard.