7 Ways to Ensure Your Backyard is Safe for Children
Games, sport and play-time, are all a huge part of a child’s upbringing and social life. However, while children love to play and explore, it can lead them into trouble and potentially a dangerous situation from time to time.
During our 20+ years, we have heard many stories about what kids have gotten up to in backyards, leading parents to install fencing.
Once you have removed all of the obvious backyard hazards such as tripping hazards, electrical wire or razor wire, follow our backyard safety tips to make your yard a safer and more child-friendly area.
1. Ensure Fencing and Gates are Secure
Your fencing and gates are your first line of defence against unsupervised or unwanted access and exits.
If your yard has a pool, you have a legal and moral obligation to ensure a properly installed and maintained fence and gate surrounds it. Be sure to adhere to the legal requirements for pool fencing and gates.
At Fencemakers, our range of security fencing is all made to order. This allows us to custom design a solution to ensure your family and possessions are kept safe while your home security fence looks great.
2. Ensure Surfaces Aren’t Hazardous
If your children spend a significant amount of time running around outside, they will inevitably trip over from time to time. In most cases, this is only an issue if they fall on a hard surface such as concrete or pavement.
Providing an area of grass for kids to play games on, like chasey, will mean that if they fall, they can stand up again without any injuries and continue playing.
To avoid a bad fall from a tree house, avoid constructing it to build it too far off the ground. Furthermore, if you have a treehouse, ensure its sidewalls are secure and have an appropriate railing. In the regrettable event a child falls out of a treehouse, it is best to have a material such as soft wood chips. Wood chips are an ideal low maintenance option as they help absorb shock, are non-toxic and natural.
3. Remove Poisonous Plants
Plants that are or you believe to be dangerous should be removed from your yard.
Flowers such as deadly nightshade and hemlock can be extremely harmful to children. When ingested, they cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea. If found, ensure that these plants are removed and destroyed.
Other less-harmful plants can also be painful and disorientating if ingested. For example, if eaten or touched, your veggie garden’s chillies can cause intense pain. If you have chillies or other “risky” plants in your vegetable patch, it’s best to fence them off.
You can find a complete list of Australia’s dangerous plants here.
4. Keep Play Equipment Safe
It’s worth checking your child’s play equipment from time to time. Older equipment such as climbing gyms can become rusted and sharp, while screws on swings can come loose, making them unsafe.
Older trampolines are especially notorious for causing injuries. If you can, replace your old trampoline with a new netted or spring-less model, or at the very least cover the springs with padding. Taking precautions now can save a lot of pain, and potentially broken bones, later.
Additionally, spiders and other nasties can make their home in cubbies and sheltered areas if not cleaned.
5. Lock the Garden Shed
The abundance of objects found in a garden shed can be very inviting to curious minds.
However, most things stored in sheds and garages pose a danger to children.
Potential hazards include:
- Handsaws, axes, weed cutters & other sharp-edged tools
- Poisons such as insecticide & weed killers
- Lawnmowers, screw-drivers & power tools
- Small sharp objects like screws, nails & pins
Be sure to put away any tools or poisons after use and keep your shed locked or firmly closed.
6. Install Window Security Film
Window security film provides protection as it helps prevent the glass from shattering on impact by holding the pieces of broken glass together. So, if your child accidentally smashes a window while playing, the risk of injury to them is reduced.
7. Teach Young Children Animal Safety
Pets can be a great addition to your family. Many children form a powerful bond with their childhood pet, and this bond can help teach your children life-long respect, love and care for animals.
However, domesticated pets are still animals. Children need to be shown the right and wrong way to play with pets. For example, teach them how to pat the dog or cat or explain why it’s important not to startle pets – especially if they’re eating, sleeping, or young.
Educating your children about animals can extend to what to do should they encounter a wild animal. For example, what they should do if they come across a possum, stray cat or snakes – all of which can be found in backyards.
At Fencemakers, we love animals and have a long history of working with the RSPCA and supporting them in their efforts. We have ensured our fencing and gate products are pet-friendly through this close relationship.
Backyard Safety With Fencemakers
If you believe installing security fences is the best way to keep your children safe while playing in the backyard, Fencemakers are here to help.