Kids love the outdoors, and it’s healthy for them to play outside. In a world where new generations are choosing the internet over playdates more and more, promoting outdoor play is necessary.
One great way to achieve this is having a backyard where your kids can play, but it has to be completely safe for them. It’s very common to see kids with broken bones and injuries related to playgrounds and outdoor play, so we have gathered the essential tips for creating a safe backyard play area for kids.
General safety for backyards
You have to set some rules: The first thing parents need to do to have a safe backyard is making their kid understand basic rules when playing outside. This way, all the effort you put into making your backyard safe won’t be in vain. Some basic rules include staying inside the backyard and not going outside of it alone, and not talking to strangers without the parents being present.
Fence your backyard: It’s hard for kids to know the limits of a space if they can’t visualize it, so it’s important that parents make that separation visual. Also, fenced backyards are safer from burglars or any person that may be unwanted on your property or near your children.
Get rid of possible injury hazards: Check your background and look for anything that could harm your kid. Some things are pretty obvious, like grills, lawnmowers, or outdoor outlets. But this is the part where parents have to get creative and imagine every possible scenario.
Always supervise your kid: This is an instinct for pretty much every parent. But it needs to kick in especially when it comes to outdoor play. As many rules as you teach your child, they can always do dangerous things, so make sure your kid is always supervised either by you or someone you trust.
What to do if there’s an emergency: It doesn’t matter how much you protect your play area, accidents can always happen, and parents need to be ready at all times. A first-aid kit is obligatory in any home, especially one with a backyard play area and kids. Parents also need to know how to use it, and preferably have some knowledge of first-aid for kids. Emergency numbers have to be on hand too.
Check your backyard every day: New hazards can appear daily, so a rigorous check on your backyard has to be done every day for as long as your kid will be playing there.
Setting up a safe playground
Cover up, and get rid of everything that could harm your kid: Check the playground carefully, and start covering and setting apart anything that’s dangerous. This is something to consider when you’re purchasing the playground as well. It’s never good to have cords, as they can quickly become strangulation hazards, and anything that protrudes or has sharp points needs to be covered.
Swings: Swings are some of the most dangerous parts of a playground, so parents need to be especially careful with them. Always try to purchase swings with seats that aren’t so harsh, like wooden ones. And don’t put more than two swings in the same section, as it won’t be stable. Go for a swing set that’s sturdy and your child can grow into.
Slides: There are a few things to consider when it comes to slides. Firstly, they shouldn’t be too tall, some have established they shouldn’t be higher than four feet for young children, and lower than six feet for older children. The landing has to be on a soft surface, always avoiding concrete or a harsh material. You may also consider covering the landing space with foam or other protecting materials. Another thing you could check regularly is the temperature of the slide before your kid goes on it.
Some other tips
Trampolines: Every kid loves a trampoline, but in case you are considering getting one, you need to be careful with a few things. Make sure it’s in good condition have it be regularly checked. Also, the surroundings have to be free of any hazards (walls, furniture, equipment), and the frames have to be padded. Learn more about trampoline hazards.
Pools and hot tubs: These are fun for the whole family, but parents have to make sure it is a safe place for kids. Putting up fences on a pool is an excellent idea to avoid accidents, and installing non-slip surfaces can help when kids don’t understand that they shouldn’t run around the pool. Of course, having a clean pool is obligatory, and always make sure that your kid is being supervised (even teenagers).
A happy kid is a happy parent, and kids that play outside are notably happier. Getting them out of the computer every once in a while is healthy for them, and with these tips, you can make sure that your kid will be safe and have fun.