The dawn of summer heralds a time of backyard barbeques and increased usage of swing sets and kiddie pools. But this time spent outdoors also means that certain hazards are going to make themselves known. As Consumer Reports illustrates in a new report, these threats are nothing to take lightly, and there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself and your family.
There are many potential safety issues that go overlooked by a large swath of the populace. According to the Consumer Reports National Research Center, nearly a third of Americans don’t drain the water from kiddie pools or put away yard games after usage. 42% didn’t always offer proper lighting along paths, and 68% of people that had a backyard pool failed to have an emergency flotation device on hand. And four out of five didn’t bother to utilize a nonflammable pad beneath their grills.
This survey speaks to a number of hazards present in the average American backyard. On Friday, we explained the steps to take with a backyard pool, so we won’t go into that again. But just know that even kiddie pools can pose a drowning hazard and thus should be drained whenever your kids are through swimming.
Safety then extends to securing your backyard as a whole. If your kids have game equipment they play with, make sure you clear it out of the yard after they’re through playing. Even small objects could trip somebody up, and you certainly don’t want to be held liable for the ensuing injury. If tree branches are strewn about the yard, these should also be removed. You should be proactive about cutting these down from your tree so as to prevent an infestation of insects that could compromise the stability of the branch and cause it to fall on someone’s head.
If you install a swing set in the yard, make sure that it’s kept at least six feet from other structures. The unit should never be placed on an incline, and prior to purchase, you should make sure that your child is within the item’s suggested age range. The swing set should be surrounded with padding that can prevent impact injuries after a fall and bolts should be fastened into place without sticking out. That way, the threat of a laceration is reduced dramatically. The same goes for anything that fastens the swing set to the ground.
Finally, one thing you probably shouldn’t invest in is a trampoline. Consumer Reports estimates that 83,000 people (a majority of which are kids) have to go to the emergency room every year because they were hurt by a trampoline. If you do purchase the item, be extremely careful and supervise kids around the product at all times.