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    Backyard Safety Tips

    By Charlotte Gerber     

    It shouldn’t take a tragedy to make us stand up and take notice of safety hazards in our own back yard. Last year I learned of a tragedy that could have been avoided and it changed the way I viewed the area around my own home. A good and caring friend of mine lost their toddler in a drowning incident. What we often think of when we hear a story like this is that only a fool would have a huge pool in their backyard and not have a gate around it. We usually forget that a small child can drown in a few inches of water. In this case, a wading pool was just as dangerous.

    Once your child is old enough to walk on their own things that weren’t a safety concern before can suddenly become a hazard. A pool, for instance, is a huge hazard for small children. While most of us have installed safety gates around our larger pools, what do we do with our wading pools when we’re done? It may seem wasteful but empty the pool at the end of the day. A child can slip out of the house unnoticed and make a trip to play in a wading pool without a parent, which can end in disaster.

    Another hazard that is often ignored is stinging insect nests. Stinging wasps, honeybees, white-faced hornets and yellow jackets can seriously endanger a small child’s life if they are stung too many times. In the spring, take a look around the eves of your house, the older trees in your yards and the covered barbeque grill. These are often places that insects build their nests. Also take notice of insects that may be swarming on the ground- some insects burrow into the ground and have their nests there, which pose a real threat for children playing low to the ground. Plan for a bad sting by having children’s benadryl and ice packs on hand. Poultices of baking soda and water are also effective. Be sure to have Epi pens on hand if your child is allergic. If your child is having trouble breathing get them to a hospital immediately or call an ambulance if you live too far away.

    A brick or stone patio can be a hazardous area for small children too. Uneven areas can cause tripping when children are learning to walk. They can also be dangerous if you give children glassware to use outside. Be safe this year and purchase plastic ware for use outdoors. Broken glass on the ground can be blamed for many avoidable injuries and countless trips to the emergency room for stitches.

    This year before you send your children outdoors for a day of fun in the sun take stock of the area you are sending them into. Install a fence if you have very small children so that they don’t accidentally wander into trouble. Check any playground equipment for sharp edges and make sure that swings and slides are firmly attached before your children use them. Performing a safety check before summer is into full swing may help you avoid potential problems and unnecessary trips to your local hospital.

    Written by Charlotte GerberRate this article:

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