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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.

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Clean Up Tripping Hazardsgoodmoments/Shutterstock

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

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Scout Out and Remove Toxic PlantsHouzz

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.

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Keep Your Chemicals SecuredFamily Handyman

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!

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Clear Away Dead Limbs and BranchesFamily Handyman

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

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Remove Any Choking Hazardsmagdalena bykowska/Shutterstock

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

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Make a Safe Landing PadArtazum/Shutterstock

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!

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Secure All Power Tools

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

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Keep the Yard Clear After FertilizingFamily Handyman

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

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Build a Fenced-In Safe Zone for Kids and PetsFamily Handyman

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.

Plus: Build a chain-link dog kennel

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Install Pool Covers, Fences and Alarmsgg-foto/Shutterstock

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.

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Install Outdoor Lightingkaramysh/shutterstock

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

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Minimize Sharp Corners and EdgesFamily Handyman

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

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Protect Against Harmful BugsFamily Handyman

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.