After months of being cooped up inside with the kids, the weather is finally warming up and it’s time to head outside. With summer vacation starting soon, you will have more time than ever to take advantage of your nice backyard and enjoy some serious quality family time. You need kid-friendly yard ideas that are safe, yet fun!
Unfortunately, your backyard might be wonderful places to hang out and entertain, but it can also be extremely dangerous. From unfenced pools to poisonous and tasty-looking plants and more, backyards are home to a variety of potentially unsafe situations. To make your outdoor space a fun sanctuary for the whole family, consider the following tips.
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Five Kid-Friendly Yard Ideas
Invest in a Pool Fence
Yes, pool fences can be spendy. But the protection they provide your children and even wayward pets is priceless. Call a few local pool fence installers for estimates, and also look into more budget-friendly, removable mesh fences, available from companies like Katch a Kid. In addition to the fence, consider investing in a pool alarm that will emit a loud sound inside your house in case your kiddos or Fido end up in the water. Be sure to keep your doors locked at all times, so your kiddos don’t easily slip outside undetected.
Get Rid of Toxic Plants
What do azaleas, calla lilies and oleander have in common? If you answered “they’re all toxic to kids and pets,” you are correct. As Homeguides notes, err on the side of caution and either dig up these poisonous plants, or if you’re unsure which plants are safe, hire a landscaper to come in and remove the toxic varieties.
1st in Flowers features handy lists of plants that are mildly irritating to the skin, as well as the extremely poisonous ones. Check with your landscaper or local extension service about kid- and pet-safe plants. Youâ€™ll probably be pleasantly surprised to discover you can still have a lush, beautiful variety of flowers and shrubs in your yard that won’t harm your family members.
Consider Adding Security Cameras
Another important way to heighten the safety of the backyard is to install a HD security camera system. Lorex by FLIR sells a wide selection of top quality and affordable cameras that will keep an electronic eye on your property 24/7. Burglars who are casing neighborhood homes will see the security camera and may be less likely to jump your backyard fence to steal bikes, tools and other equipment. In addition, these cameras can also help you keep tabs on your teenagers and their buddies as they swim and splash in your pool.
Remove Piles of ‘Stuff’
All of that old wood, piles of leaves and plastic tarps covering Lord-knows-what are not only unattractive, but they can also be hazardous. In addition to being a tripping hazard for you and your kids, these dark and covered areas are the ideal homes for poisonous spiders like Black Widows, rats and other nasty pests. Set aside an hour or so in the morning before it gets too hot and clear your backyard of all debris and junk.
Provide Soft Places to Fall
If you have a swing set or jungle gym in the backyard, be sure the ground covers around them are nice and soft. While you might be tempted to place small gravel around swings and monkey bars, the pea-sized gravel is a choking hazard and can be rough on bare knees and feet. Real or fake grass – many toy stores sell these with alphabet letters on them – is a much safer and more comfortable surface in which to land.
Do you have any other kid-friendly yard ideas to add to this list? Let us know!