Do you want your kids to play outdoors more but worry about their safety? After all, you know how easy it is for them to take slips and spills! It can be hard to relax when parenting dilemmas come your way. Ease your anxieties – follow our list of tips on how to make your backyard a safe space for kids to play!
We all know that fresh air and exercise are good for our children. Playing outdoors promotes a healthy lifestyle and can provide your kids with hours of fun. However, letting your kids run riot in your backyard can also bring up some concerns for parents! You might start to wonder whether your backyard is safe for kids to play unsupervised or what are the best shoes for toddlers to wear outside. Our list of tips will help you create a backyard oasis that you, and your kids, can safely enjoy.
1. Keep Your Backyard Tidy
Before you let your kids run around outside, make sure you do a thorough sweep of your backyard to look for any potential hazards. Tidy up any gardening tools, like forks or shovels, and remove fertilizers or chemicals to a safe place where children cannot reach them. Check for any sharp fence posts or overhangs in which children could bump their heads on and remove trip hazards to avoid any scuffed knees. Weeding your garden regularly also reduces the risk of plant or nettle stings and can stop children from ingesting potentially toxic plants. Fence
off your woodpile, or sand down any wooden play equipment, to avoid the risk of splinters
and check any enclosed spaces for wasps’ nests or spiders’ webs. After all, nothing ruins
backyard games like a nasty bug bite!
2. Set Backyard Ground Rules
If you have very young children, chances are you’ll be with them outside most of the time. However, if you have slightly older kids, you might want to give them free rein to play outdoors. It’s a smart idea to set your kid’s ground rules for outdoor activities. Depending on your backyard design, your kids might have a lot of open space to explore. If you have a large, open yard, tell your kids to remain in sight of the house (so you can keep an eye on them) and not to go beyond certain limits. If you have a backyard playground, make sure your kids stick to certain rules. Don’t allow them to stand at the bottom of the slide, stand on swings, or push and shove while climbing. Ensure that they take turns and that any younger kids are supervised by an adult when they play with older children.
3. Checks Gates and Fences Are Properly Secured
Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Therefore, the perimeters of your backyard might be just as tempting as any toys they have to play with. Make sure to latch any gates before you allow your children to play outside. If your backyard has a fence around it, check the fence regularly for any rusty wire or nails sticking out of fence posts. If you have the resources for a renovation, think about some kid-friendly backyard design ideas for gates and entranceways. Consider putting in a gate with a childproof latch or a handle that is out of
young children’s reach for a more kids friendly backyard.
4. Kid Proof Playground Equipment
A backyard playground can be fun for the whole family. However, as with anything that kids can climb on, accidents do happen. Here are some backyard ideas to kid-proof your play equipment and offset any worries:
● Replace gravel or stone pavements with lawn. This way, if your child falls or jumps off the swing, they will have something soft to land on. You could also put down rubber or sponge mats beneath swings or slides.
● Check fixtures, bolts, and railings. Some of the best playsets are DIY backyard creations, however, even the best workmanship can suffer from wear and tear. Ensure that screws and fittings do not go rusty through regular cleaning and check rails, steps, or handholds to reassure yourself that they are stable.
● Dry any metal or plastic surfaces to prevent slips. If your backyard playground has multiple PlayStations connected by bridges, make sure that these bridges stay dry and that they’re not slippery for kids to climb on. If bridges or plateaus are uncovered, simply wipe them dry after rain and before your kids go outside.
5. Block Off Pools or Hot Tubs
Kids love to play in the water but, if your backyard has a pool or hot tub, then water safety should be a top priority. Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for young children and it only takes a couple of minutes for a small child to drown. If you’re looking to install a pool, think about backyard design ideas so that the pool is placed in a separate, gated off area. This prevents kids from entering to pool unsupervised and reduces the chance of accidents when your back is turned. If you’ve moved in somewhere that already has a pool, use pallets
or chicken wire to build a DIY barrier or to divide up your backyard. Most outdoor hot tubs come with covers so ensure that this is on whenever you’re not using it. Teaching older kids to swim is also a great way to improve safety around water.
6. Keep a First Aid Kit in the House
Of course, as parents, we can’t always be on guard against accidents. Kids get into everything, no matter how carefully we watch them, and, from time to time, bumps and scrapes are bound to occur. When something does happen, be sure that you’ve got first aid supplies in the house to treat any minor wounds. Having a stash of basics like antiseptic cream, plasters, bandages, and tweezers can fully equip you for long days in the sun.
We hope you’ve found our list of the best backyard ideas for kids helps to keep your outdoor space safe and accident-proof. Remember, taking basic precautions can put your mind to rest and, if you feel confident outdoors, so will your kids!
Final Call: Do you have concerns about your kid’s outdoor safety? Want to know how to make a kid’s friendly backyard? Share your tips in the comments!
Betti Wilson is a freelance author, but, what’s more important, what she is really devoted to, is her children. In her articles, she shares her own experience and writes about parenthood, lifestyle, family challenges, and how to deal with them without losing a positive attitude.