Summer is just around the corner (hooray)! As the days grow brighter and warmer, legions of kids look forward to stretching their legs with backyard activities like picnics, campouts, and sprawling games of tag.
But parents beware: your backyard, when left unkempt, can lead to some serious bumps and bruises. Chris Palmer, Canada’s favourite handyman, reminds parents to kid-proof their yards this summer, so kids can run free without getting hurt.
Wonder where to start? Chris has shared some tips to make your backyard safer:
Whether you’re building a deck or patching up a slatted fence, consider using durable materials for your DIY project. Try to find materials treated for termites and fungal decay. These materials, sturdy and resistant to degradation, also minimize the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause allergic reactions. “On a side note,” Chris adds, “when you are building a project out of pressure treated wood, be sure to apply a waterproof top coat to prolong the life of your project.” For more information, check out MicroPro Sienna.
Rough surfaces can be a hotspot for cuts and scrapes. To prevent a splinter, Chris advises parents to sand down decks and furniture made of wood. For tougher rock surfaces, parents can use an angled grinder to grate away at sharp edges. Lastly, opt for soft or grassy ground covers to cushion trips or falls.
Cold temperatures and wet weather can damage patio furniture, leaving them shaky and at risk for collapse. During the off-season, store furniture in dry environments, or cover them up with a tarp.
Once summer rolls around, inspect structures for loose nails and screws. Parents should also check for rust around major connectors, especially if they have little mountain climbers at home.
The berries of flowering plants can often look like a tempting snack. Avoid these plants when gardening to prevent an upset stomach. Parents should also prune prickly plants that can cause a nick on the finger.
Once you’ve managed the flora, check for crawling critters in the tight spaces of your deck and furniture. Bugs can leave nasty bites on your little ones; so don’t feel too bad when you clear them away with a pressure wash.
If all else fails, parents can fence off hazardous areas like pools, divots and fire pits. For an unobtrusive and eye-pleasing option, parents can set off areas of the yard with hedges, box planters, or ornamental fencing. “Remember,” Chris says, “Safety can be stylish.”