Playing outside is healthy for even the youngest children. Getting out in nature will benefit your child in many ways. Children who play outside are healthier, happier, more creative, and have better social skills. When playing outside it’s important to educate you and your little ones on backyard safety
Before you let your toddler play outside, there are important safety measures you need to take. When you follow these easy guidelines, you will be able to give your toddler a rich outdoor experience without worrying about injuries or accidents.
Choose Plants Wisely
When you are landscaping your yard with an eye toward letting toddlers play outside, make sure your plants are as non-toxic as possible. For example, do not plant anything with enticing berries. Try to minimize the impact of thorns and tangling vines.
In addition to protecting your child from the dangers of landscape plants, you need to protect the plants from your rambunctious children. Use garden fencing where possible and keep plants and children separate.
Image Credit: FIX
Pay Attention to Lawn Care
You will want the smoothest, most comfortable lawn possible before letting your children play outdoors. Remove as many rocks, sticks, and skin-irritating weeds as possible. It’s also important to make sure that children stay off the lawn after insecticides and fertilizers are used. It may be helpful to make sure they understand the clear defined boundary between the lawn they can play in, and the garden that they can’t. Make sure your expectations are clear and make children aware of the danger of areas they might find toxins or dangerous plants.
Image Credit: Legion Landscaping
Cover Window Wells
Many homes have basement windows at or below ground level. Children can fall into the window well and can be injured. It is best to purchase window well covers to keep curious children from hurting themselves. These covers are surprisingly affordable and easy to find. Window well covers are pretty easy to install yourself.
Image Credit: Rockwell Window Wells
If you have a pool or any water features, including fish ponds, it is imperative that you keep curious toddlers away from them. Use a pool fence at least 48 inches in height with a non-climbable zone of 36 inches. Check your local statutes to make sure your pool fence meets requirements. Make sure the gate is self-closing and self-locking.
Playsets and slides are a wonderful way to get your toddler engaged in outdoor play. These fun features need to be set up in a safe manner. First, make sure that your playset is anchored to the ground using concrete. Playsets that are simply set on the lawn will easily fall over and injure children. Use wood chips, mulch, or sand to cushion the area around your playset. Be sure to watch children carefully so that they will not eat the mulch or wood chips.
Using these tips, you can provide a safe and fun environment for young children to enjoy your backyard. Allow them to experience the benefits of playing outside while minimizing the risks.