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Childproofing for the Outdoors

Following up on last week’s water safety post, this week we discuss other ways to keep your kids safe in your own backyard.

Summer is officially in full swing, which means the sprinklers are flowing and swimsuits have become everyday wear. As toddlers and young children ask to spend more and more time playing outside, it could become painfully obvious the ways in which you’ve put off childproofing your outdoor spaces.

Figuring out where to start your outdoor childproofing may feel overwhelming. That’s OK. Start small, with the places your child is most likely to play in and follow the suggestions below to help keep outside play safe this summer.

BBQ Areas

A favorite part of summer for many families is backyard barbecuing. But keeping children safe around the grill is just as important as getting those perfect char marks. Children are fascinated by fire and may try to touch an open flame, which is why it’s extremely important to follow these barbecue safety rules:

  • Never leave an open fire unattended.
  • Keep young children away from the cooking area.
  • Store matches out of reach.
  • Make sure the BBQ is secured and cannot tip over.
  • If your BBQ has knobs, keep a protective covering over the BBQ when not in use.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill. And KNOW HOW TO USE IT.
  • BBQs can be sharp. Be aware of jagged edges and pointy protrusions.
  • Consider drawing a “safety zone” with chalk around the BBQ and explain to your child that when the BBQ is on that they stay behind the chalk line.
  • Keep BBQ tools, such as brushes and tongs out of reach.

Play Equipment

The type of play equipment you have in your backyard will likely depend on your child’s age and what is developmentally appropriate for them to play on. But let’s say you have children with a wide age gap, or maybe the house you just moved into came with a play structure already installed. Either way, it’s important to ensure that it is safe for your child to use. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year roughly 50,000 children go to U.S. hospital emergency rooms because of injuries on home playground equipment. The good news is that you can help prevent these injuries.

For more tips and to read the full article, visit lanekids.org.

This article is brought to you by Parenting Now Parenting Educators and authors Amanda Bedortha, Claire Davis and Lynne Swartz and consultant Jay Thompson (andupdatemywebsite.com).  Parenting Now is passionate about happy, healthy families. For more information about Parenting Now please visit their website (https://parentingnow.org/) or contact us at info@parentingnow.org

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