13 Ways to Make Your Yard Safer This Weekend
When kids and pets are playing in your yard, it's important that they stay safe. If you're expecting some backyard playtime in the future, double check your safety measures first! Here are important tips to help out.
Clean Up Tripping Hazards
Walk around your lawn and look for any equipment or toys that may have been left out, obscured by the grass. Even if you keep a tidy yard, look for natural hazards like large pine cones that may have appeared since your last cleanup. Plus: General DIY safety tips
Scout Out and Remove Toxic Plants
You don't want pets or kids accidentally eating toxic plants. Even common plants and trees like rhododendrons and wisteria can be very toxic if consumed. Look for toxic plants and remove them or otherwise ensure no one will be eating them.
Keep Your Chemicals Secured
Just like in the kitchen, make sure that any chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, pool cleaners, etc.) are safely stored away and out of reach from kids and pets. Plus: Need more storage? Build a shed!
Clear Away Dead Limbs and Branches
Remove low-hanging and dying branches from trees and shrubs. You don't want anyone trying to hang off them or tripping over close-to-the-ground limbs. Plus, it's good fire protection! Plus: Cut Down a Tree Safely
Remove Any Choking Hazards
Look at garden, patio and fire pit ornamentation. Do you have any glass pebbles or bright beads? These can be very attractive to toddlers. Replace them with sand or other safer materials. Plus: Build a stone patio or brick patio
Make a Safe Landing Pad
Swings, playhouses and other structures should be surrounded by softer ground to help protect kids in case of falls. Sand works well, although you may have to dig out sod to properly install a full sandbox. Plus: Check out other outdoor projects to improve your yard!
Secure All Power Tools
Children think power tools are neat, and they're curious about how they work. That's a dangerous combination in the yard. Make sure all power tools and lawn care equipment are safely stored away. Plus: Lawn Tractor Maintenance Tips
Keep the Yard Clear After Fertilizing
Fertilizer can be dangerous to pets and children. Water your lawn well and wait a couple of days after fertilizing before you let anyone play on the lawn. The same is true of any spray pesticides or herbicides you may use. Plus: How to fertilize your lawn
Build a Fenced-In Safe Zone for Kids and Pets
Pets may need kennels. Kids may need protected areas where they can't wander off. And, they may need to be separated from each other. All are good reasons to consider a fenced-in area for playtime.
Install Pool Covers, Fences and Alarms
A pool can be a lot of fun, but having one in your yard means you must take safety precautions. You can minimize the danger greatly by using a pool cover, installing a fence, and setting up pool alarms in case anyone falls in. Find out more with these additional pool safety tips.
Install Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting is important for evening play as well as discouraging any burglars looking for an easy way to get in. Put up motion-activated outdoor lights at every entrance and throughout your yard. Plus: DIY Outdoor Lighting Tips for Beginners
Minimize Sharp Corners and Edges
Keep patio furniture away from play areas and well away from running kids. If you have large rocks or jutting deck edges in your yard, consider planting shrubs and other plants nearby to provide emergency cushioning. Plus: Deck designs
Protect Against Harmful Bugs
Watch for hornets or wasps that may be building nests or burrowing into the ground near play areas. Biting ants and other stinging insects can also be problems. If you notice threats like this, keep pets and kids away and seek out the right DIY pest control strategy.