Your family holds a special place in your heart, and your outdoor space is the perfect setting for creating lasting memories with them. Picture your children running barefoot on the grass, you effortlessly checking on dinner sizzling on the grill, and having everything you need right at your fingertips. But there’s a catch: your backyard needs to be safe to enjoy these moments fully.
We’ll show you seven easy ways to make your backyard a secure sanctuary, where you can relish quality time with your loved ones and embrace every precious moment.
Clean Before You Play
A lawn with toys strewn across it is a safety hazard for kids and adults alike. It’s far too easy to trip on a yellow plastic truck while you’re laser-focused on catching a baseball.
Our tip is to make it a habit. Spend five to ten minutes putting everything before coming inside. We like “the floor is lava” or timing challenge so it’s a part of the fun for the kids.
Large storage bins can help make clean-up even quicker and are a great investment for helping protect the toys from excessive sun or rain exposure too.
Keep Lawn Chemicals and Dangerous Tools Out of Reach
Lawn chemicals, sharp tools and pool chemicals are just a few of the dangerous items that people store in their outdoor spaces.
While they’re great for keeping your lawn green and pool blue, these items can pose an especially significant threat to families with children or pets.
A shed of any size is a great option for all your backyard tools and chemicals. Invest in a child-proof lock for it too. It keeps them safe from the elements and out of the hands of small children. It’s a great investment that serves you in too many ways to list. Install a shed and you’ll see just how much easier it is to keep your space both safe and organized.
Install a Gate
An outdoor space with no gate is a glaring safety hazard for young children and pets. Installing a gate with a self-closing spring ensures the safety of everyone, enforces set boundaries, and makes sure everybody is staying where they’re supposed to.
Pro Tip: Think about gate heights, and the height of where you install your gate latch, for when your kids get older too, making your gate project last you for years to come.
Rethink that Trampoline Install
Ok, I get it. Trampolines are super fun and can make for an awesome time in the sun. However, the safety risks that come with owning one, especially one without a net, are countless.
We have all heard stories of them leading to broken bones, knees to the face, and a host of other injuries, and this could be why the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against purchasing one. However, if you remain dead set on getting your hands on one, our big disclaimer for safety is to put up some netting and pads to reduce the risk of injury as much as possible.
We also think the placement of your trampoline is important too. Move it away from decks or playsets so the kids are less tempted to jump onto or from anything else around it.
Try to Limit Stone in Your Backyard
While stone may be aesthetically pleasing, it poses a safety hazard for young children. Think about how you used to spend your days when you were a child. Hours on end spent outdoors, running around, falling, skinning knees. You enjoyed everything the outdoors had to offer.
Having stone in your backyard means that those childhood falls come with a greater risk of injury. A grass-only outdoor space is much safer and looks just as great. You can also incorporate smoother stones in a pathway or around certain elements like a garden. Adding stone to your backyard space can always be a future project when the kids are older.
Make Sure Your Fence Is Well-Maintained
Owning a fence is only useful when it is properly maintained and taken care of. A rotting wooden fence, for example, can pose more safety threats than having no fence at all.
Take the time to properly maintain what you have and you’ll get all of its safety benefits, as well as the bonus of great aesthetics.
Our residential iron fence profiles require next to no maintenance and look great season after season.
Check Play Structures for Signs of Wear and Tear
Like many families, you may own a jungle gym or swing set. While great fun for the kids, things can take a dangerous turn if your structures aren’t well-maintained. You’re not running and climbing on these structures so you might forget to check on them. Take the time to periodically inspect your jungle gym or swing set to ensure playtime is as safe as possible.
Keep an eye out for loose floorboards, rotting wood, loose screws and anything else that could lead to injury. There are lots of safety checklists online to ensure you’ve gotten everything reviewed.
If you’re looking around for a new playset, make sure it meets the American Society for Testing and Materials standards (ASTM), now known as ATSM International.