You have endured the winter cold for close to three months and you look forward to the spring season. You long for the long, bright, warm days and some fresh air. Like you, your pets and kids are eager to step out and enjoy the new season.
According to the National Safety council report, up to 250 children under the age of 5 years drown each year. Most of these drowning incidents happen in backyard swimming pools. Although these statistics can be scary, with proper pool safety measures you need not worry.
How can you child and pet proof your pool? There are a number of ways including installing a safety cover on your swimming pool, a pool fence and gate, a gate alarm and adding pressure-sensitive alarms.
A pool fence ensures that the kids do not wander too close near the pool and accidentally trip into the water. Make sure that your kids’ and pets’ swimming sessions are well supervised. Pool Safely offers a comprehensive educational program for kids.
Fences are a good way of restricting access to certain areas. Surprisingly, children and pets can find their way through holes and spaces you did not expect. Therefore, at the beginning of spring, inspect all your backyard fences for holes or spaces that are big enough for your pets or kids to pass through. Child and pet proofing your fence can be a simple activity that you can DIY with the right tools.
3. Gardens and flower beds
While your backyard garden is a source of healthy homegrown vegetables and the sprouting flowers in your flower beds warm your heart, both can house toxic chemicals and pests.
Fertilizers and pesticides used in the beds and garden can be poisonous to both your kids and pets. Similarly, some flowers, though beautiful can be poisonous if ingested.
It is best that you fence such areas to restrict your children and pets from accessing them. Alternatively, ensure that all flowers planted on your beds are safe or you could adopt organic landscaping
4. Play structures
The CDC reports that over 200,000 kids under 14 sustain playground injuries every year. At home, playground accidents may be caused by play structures that have worn off or rusted from excess moisture during winter.
Inspect all play structures to ensure bolts are fastened and not protruding, ropes are solid, nets are not splintered and wood is intact. While you may be tempted to go for treated wood for play structures, keep in mind that the treatment used on the wood can be toxic. Dry climbing areas to prevent slip and falls.
5. Walkways and lawns
The kids will be spending lots of time in the backyard barefoot. This makes them prone to feet injuries, which can be painful or in the worst case, can become infected. Inspect your walkways, lawn and the background for any hazardous objects such as stones and pieces of woods.
Before you jump into your backyard to enjoy the spring season, ensure you have taken the necessary measures to create an outdoor retreat for your kids and pets.
Photo credits: Pexels
Clara is a retired small business owner, who was born with two green thumbs. Recently, she handed the reins of the business she ran for 30 years over to her daughter. But retirement didn’t slow her down. She immediately got to work organizing and growing a community garden, but found her passion for gardening still wasn’t satisfied. And so the seed for a new business idea was planted! She created GardenerGigs to connect local gardeners with those in need of plant care help.