Backyard barbecues and pool parties . . . lawn games and ghost stories around the fire pit . . . Picture-perfect weather and longer days give family and friends the ideal opportunity to be active or simply relax “out back.” But as this good-time vibe pervades, it’s still important to be vigilant where fire and water are close by (especially if children are around).
- Prepare your deck, patio and yard for safety well before guests arrive. Clear the area of tripping hazards like rocks, twigs, pet debris, or toys. Stow away the garden tools and lawn mower in the garage or shed, and hunt down that stray badminton shuttlecock from the shot you missed!
- While outdoors, keep an eye on young children, don’t let them run around with bare feet, and don’t leave them unattended, whether it’s in a crowd of party-goers, around water, or near an open flame or grill. Never allow knives, matches or lighter fluid within reach of small hands.
- Four-sided fencing is a must around above-ground or in-ground pools to control access. Always designate an adult swimmer to watch kids dive into the fun.
- Make insect repellent available to guests, but don’t allow children to apply it themselves. Read directions carefully before applying repellent to young kids, as to what is safe for certain age ranges. Those containing DEET, for example, should not be applied to children younger than two months of age and any repellent should be washed off before coming indoors. Keep kids away from citronella torches or candles, too. Do a spot check for ticks before heading inside!
- Leave seasonal fireworks to professional, public displays – not the backyard. The U.S. Product and Safety Commission says that emergency rooms saw 10,500 fireworks injuries in 2014 alone (35 percent in children 15 years old or younger).
- Police the area when the fun is done. Make sure flames are fully extinguished with no burning embers remaining, and trash is disposed of – especially food remnants that can draw unwanted insects or critters to the yard.
Nothing can spoil the fun like a preventable mishap. Remember, good preparation helps make good memories!
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano
©2015 TransFormations. All rights reserved. Sources include www.cdc.gov.