Three ways to make your backyard safe for your kids and pets
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Apr 22, 2013 | 20158 views | 0 0 comments | 257 257 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - The sun is shining, the air smells of freshly cut grass and the kids are out of school. Long, lazy summers are a staple of any childhood, and getting outside for exercise and fresh air is healthy for both children and pets alike. By taking some simple safety measures in your backyard, you can also enjoy a relaxing, stress-free summer.

Fence your yard

A fence offers a sectioned-off area for your children and pets to play without you having to worry about them running into the street. A fence can also offer privacy, which adds a degree of safety. It’s important to get a quality fence that won’t easily rot or fall into a state of disrepair or it can become a liability instead of an asset.

If you’re worried about the cost of a professionally installed fence, there are other options. “We believe anyone with some patience and time can save money installing their own fence to keep kids safe this summer,” says Denise Esser of WamBam Fence, a company that manufactures do-it-yourself vinyl fencing. “Vinyl is a great material from a safety standpoint because it doesn’t cause splinters or deteriorate. A good quality vinyl fence is also strong enough to withstand children’s activities, such as balls bouncing off the panels.”

Check for ground holes and tree roots

Weather, bugs or rodents can cause divots or holes in your yard that are hard to detect when they're hiding in lush grass. These are injuries waiting to happen, as a running child can break a bone or twist an ankle. Do a walk-around inyour backyard to see if there are any holes that need filling, or if tree roots or other natural debris can cause a tripping hazard.

An easy way to determine this is to cut the lawn to a shorter level than you would otherwise, keeping a careful eye on the yard as you mow. This will enable you to see holes and other potential pitfalls more easily as they won’t be lurking under the grass.

Keep sensitive items out of reach

You may be in a rush when mowing the lawn, but it’s very important to ensure that you put all equipment away when finished. Lawn mowers and weed whackers can be dangerous if left attended. Not only are they easy to trip over or crash into, but they often have sharp parts and contain gasoline, two things that can cause unnecessary accidents.

Lawn fertilizer and other pesticides might keep your plants and grass looking luscious, but they are poisonous when ingested. Some fertilizers are pretty in color and crystalized, making it tempting for young kids to try a taste. Always put fertilizer and pesticides high up and out of reach.

Summer is the time to relax and enjoy the sun, and by following these simply safety tips, you can be assured of a safe, peaceful season. By fencing in your yard, ensuring that there are no holes to cause broken or twisted ankles, and putting potentially dangerous items away and out of reach, you and your pets and children will have a more pleasant time enjoying the great outdoors.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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