The backyard offers a world of fun for children. Playgrounds offer even more
chances for adventure. But the fun can end abruptly when someone gets hurt.
That’s one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics reminds parents to
supervise children’s outdoor play, even at home.
To protect your kids from injuries, keep these backyard and playground
safetytips in mind.
When a pet dies, it's common for people to feel as though they've lost a
member of the family. For children, this is often their first encounter with
death. In an attempt to soften the blow, parents sometimes explain the death of
a pet in vague ways or skirt the topic altogether. But experts say this just
makes things worse by leaving children anxious and mystified.
Explaining a pet's death to children in a clear, respectful manner can go a
long way toward making the journey a little less distressful,...
Check to see that your fences are sturdy and in good repair — free from
splinters and rust — and that toddlers cannot open gates.
Store hoses after each use so children don’t trip over them.
Hang ladders in a shed or garage so children cannot climb or play on
Keep pathways clear of toys so that no one (including you!) trips over
Make sure children are indoors when you are using a lawnmower or other
potentially dangerous tools such as a saw, hedge trimmer, or weed whacker.
Keep all garden tools out of children’s reach, and store them with tines,
blades, or spikes pointing downward.
The key to playground safety is supervision.Unsupervised play is associated
with 40 percent of playground injuries, according to the National Safe Kids
Campaign. Keep an eye on your kids and put a stop to any pushing or
roughhousing on playground equipment.
Here are some additional guidelines for playground safety:
Choose sturdy age-appropriate play sets, not swings and climbers that your
child will “grow into.”
Install play equipment on level ground and make sure it cannot tip
Place equipment at least 6 feet away from walls, fences, trees, and other
obstacles to allow for safe “landings.”
Use soft protective surfacing, such as wood chips, mulch, or rubber
matting, under all equipment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a
9-inch deep layer of protection that extends six feet beyond the
Check the equipment quarterly for wear, and repair loose, jagged or
splintering parts. Also, make sure that all screws and bolts are tight — they
can loosen over time.
Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, or pet leashes to playground
equipment. Children can strangle on them.
During summer, check play surfaces to make sure they are not so hot that
they could cause burns.
Periodically check for equipment recalls with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission. You can find their web site at http://www.cpsc.gov, or call 1-800-638-2772.
Water and pool safety
Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in children, and pools are
not the only hazards. Any body of water is dangerous to a young child.
Never leave children unattended around wading pools, hot tubs, fountains, small
streams, ponds, wells, postholes, or ditches. Children can also drown in large
buckets of water and in coolers filled with water from melted ice, so empty
such containers after every use.