7 Backyard Safety Risks Silently Menacing Your Family
Are there threats lurking in your backyard? As homeowners and parents, we can become blasé about some of the common dangers that hide in our beautiful yards and gardens. While most maintenance involves our homes’ structures, our yards could be dangerously neglected. With the advent of warmer weather, families will be heading out into the backyard for rest and relaxation. So, if you want to grill or just chill out in the great outdoors with some peace of mind, here are 7 backyard safety risks silently menacing your family:
1. Insect attacks
Grass and flowers entice insects including bees and wasps and many people are allergic to their stings. Avoid consuming sugary foods and drinks outside where they will attract insects. Keep an EpiPen where it can be accessed quickly in the event of a bite.
Dogs and cats carry ticks, which can cause disease. Although Lyme is common, there are another 15 known diseases (including Tularemia) that ticks can transmit, especially during warmer months. Be sure to safeguard your family and friends by keeping your pets clean or examined by a veterinarian.
Trampolines are one of the leading causes of backyard injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not endorse trampolines for home use. If you have a backyard trampoline, it should be inspected for rust or weather damage.
Grilling is the cause of an average of 8,900 home fires annually and nearly half of all injuries are caused by thermal burns. Grills should be checked for winter damage and thoroughly cleaned before the season starts. Propane grills must be tested for potential leaks and hoses inspected for signs of perishing.
4. Pet Waste
If you have pets, using your backyard as their toilet might contain bacteria that can cause viruses and infection. While it is a rare occurrence for parasites to cause death, they present a significant health risk to toddlers, children and the elderly, especially since they get into the body through the mouth or skin.
5. Chemical dangers
Our lawns are drenched in pesticides. The average suburban gardener applies more chemicals to their grass per square yard than farmers do to their crops. If you have children and pets, consider the value of adopting a pesticide free program in your garden.
Other dangerous chemicals can be found in swimming pools and hot tubs. The CDC provides helpful guidelines on how to manage pool chemicals.
6. Poisonous plants
There are many everyday plants used for landscaping that are poisonous in one way or another, some to pets and some to humans. Then, there are poison ivy, poison oak and sumac plants, which cause a skin reaction known as contact dermatitis.
Some of the most popular flowers including azaleas or hydrangeas can pose a risk if eaten accidentally. Although some will only cause mild symptoms, there are others that can be deadly. Check your backyard and remove or fence off any possibly hazardous plants.
7. Swimming pools
After extreme winter weather, extra care must be taken to ensure that the safety precautions used around your pool have are not compromised. The fence must be inspected for any breakages and gates must be checked for security.
If your children and their friends want to have a pool party, it is vital that an adult is present at all times. Swimming without any adult supervision can lead to drowning, reports the National Safety Council. In addition, 600 children and adults drown annually in swimming pools, 330 are in home pools.
After the party’s over, make sure your pool’s alarm system will alert you to any unauthorized entry. It only takes a few seconds for a drowning to happen but the fallout can last a lifetime. Avoid the 7 backyard safety risks silently menacing your family by educating your loved ones too! Practice safety drills, insect checks and avoid harmful chemicals. Here’s to your health! Cheers!
Written by Clara Beaufort of Gardenergigs.com. Contact Clara at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help in your garden. She will match you with a local gardener or landscaper looking for work. If you are a gardener looking for work, sign up with Clara on her website.