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5 Ways to Make Your Yard a Safe Place to Play

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With so many things to explore and see, the backyard is a fun place to play in the summer. We're lucky enough to have a big yard, but that also means that we have a lot more to worry about.

Can she climb the fence over there? Are those plants behind that tree poisonous?

We took some time out last weekend to make our yard "kid proof." Here's how you can make sure your yard is a safe place to play.

1. Set Boundaries and Rules

If you don't have a fenced yard, make sure that you establish and that your child understands the boundaries in which she can play.

For young children, this may mean only allowing the child to play in one section of the yard. You can also establish a rule that your child can only play in areas where she can be seen by an adult.

For older children, there may be rules about how high they can climb and which areas of the yard are off-limits.

2. Supervise at All Times

Accidents can happen in a matter of minutes. Supervision can help prevent many of them. Make sure that your child is supervised by an adult at all times when playing outdoors.

Children, particularly young children, may not be able to recognize potentially dangerous situations.

Supervision means that an adult is right there and ready to respond to an accident immediately if one should happen. Adults can also make sure that the kids take breaks from play and stay hydrated.

3. Survey the Yard for Potential Hazards

Before the kids go out to play, check the yard for any potential hazards, like animal remains, fallen tree limbs, broken boards, nails and other potentially dangerous objects.

If your yard has holes or your sewer is backing up into the yard (which can happen with a septic system), take care of these hazards before you let the kids play outside.

If you have outdoor swings, playhouses or treehouses, make sure that they are free of insect nests. Sandboxes should be checked for bugs and other potential hazards, too.

4. Install a Fence Around the Pool

Pools can be great fun for kids in the summer, but they can also be dangerous. Children can drown in a pool in a matter of minutes.

Installing a fence around the pool can help prevent such a tragic accident. The fences should be at least four feet tall and wrap around the entire perimeter of the pool. For added safety, make sure the fence has a self-latching and self-closing gate. The latches should be out of reach of the children.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can have an alarm installed that will alert you every time someone enters the pool gate.

5. Remove Poisonous Plants

Check your backyard for poisonous plants and have them removed. Dangerous plants are one of the leading causes of poisoning in young children.

Teach your child never to eat any plant without your permission.

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