With summer just starting, school is out and children need to be entertained. While some kids have summer activities lined up in their schedules, many children simply spend their summer in an unstructured way at home. That means that more areas of the house will be used for play. The yard, in particular, will become a high-traffic area. Here are three tips to make your yard a safer place for children this summer.
Check Your Plants
One of the key things to watch out for is to make sure the plants in the yard are not harmful to kids. Children are not as adept as adults at differentiating harmful from safe. Many bright flowers and berries are asking to be picked up. Some harmful plants are common garden flowers, such as morning glory, lily-of-the-valley, castor beans and yew. Kids need to be taught not to eat brightly colored berries and flowers from the yard and not to put their hands to their mouth or nose region after touching outdoor plants. Another solution is to section off a specific part of the yard for kids to play in. If your kid shows symptoms of poisoning, seek emergency care immediately. If your kid does not show symptoms but you know that they have ingested potentially harmful berries or flowers, contact your local poison control.
Consider Artificial Grass
Another addition to your yard to make your yard kid-friendly is the installation of artificial grass. With low maintenance costs and easy upkeep, artificial grass may not be real grass, but it eliminates the allergens and pesticides that can accompany grass. Some synthetic grass comes with additional padding as an optional feature, further adding to the safety of your lawn.
Watch Out for Lawn Care Chemicals
Pesticides and fertilizers can both be harmful to children depending on the type of contact. Kids are more likely to be affected by yard chemicals because they are often in closer contact with the chemicals. During playtime, they can crawl through the grass, fall down and pick themselves up, climb through the shrubbery or climb low trees. If you tend to your own yard care, take a better look at the active ingredients of the yard chemicals and check if the contents are toxic. Although not completely safe, choose organic yard products, products with EPA’s Safer Product certification or even natural compost fertilizer. If an area in the yard has been treated with chemicals, make sure to wait until the chemical has completely been watered into the soil, at least 1/4-inch deep, before allowing children to play outside.
With summer just settling in, there is still time to make your yard as safe for kids as possible. You’ll want to make sure that you can feel comfortable having your kids play outside in the warm weather. With many solutions and options available, your yard can be made into a safe play area for your children.