It’s hot, humid, and rainy – must mean that the Florida summer is upon us. That means it is time to make sure that your backyard is safe and ready for fun! Follow this checklist to make sure that your backyard is ready for playtime or for have everyone over for some entertainment.
- Eliminate pest without posing a health risk
Nothing can ruin a backyard party quicker than ants and mosquitoes. You can reduce your need for pesticides if you invoke a few preventative measures. Routinely check for leak pipes, standing water, and be sure to clean up yard debris – all these things attract bugs and mosquitoes. There are also some pesticide free ways to discourage bugs such as sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home, patio, or play area. Should you need to use pesticides, follow these rules:
- When applying pesticides to your yard, be sure all children and pets are inside or away from the area until it has dried.
- Avoid applying pesticides on a windy day to avoid the wind from blowing the pesticides into the air.
- Be sure to wear safety glasses and gloves when applying pesticides. It is also recommended to wear long sleeves and pants to avoid exposure to your skin.
- Always wash your hands after touching or handling pesticides, even if you just picked up the bag and moved it.
- Do not over apply the pesticides in hopes to give your yard a “stronger” dose. Stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Make sure everyone knows their pool safety, even you
Sadly, nearly 800 children drown every year and about half are under the age of 5. Pool safety is one of the most important things to teach your children and should be reiterated often. Be sure to follow general pool safety to ensure you have a safe and fun time:
- An adult should always be present and alert when children are swimming. Be sure at least one adult knows how to perform CPR.
- Ensure that children who cannot swim are wearing the proper floatation devices.
- If you don’t already, install a fence around your pool.
- Make sure that the drains are properly covered and teach kids to stay away from them.
- Keep kids (or adults) from running around or near the pool.
- Look for holes and fill them
Holes in the yard can be problematic, especially if you have a dog that likes to dig. Holes are a potential source for injuries for yourself, friends, and family. Perform a walkthrough of your back yard to check for any holes or dips that could cause someone to trip and fill them with dirt.
- Test playground equipment
Playgrounds and outdoor play equipment doesn’t usually see a lot of use in winter months and neglected playsets can have some issues. Also, check the area around the playset to ensure pets or other critters have not been digging or making a home. With Florida, comes heavy rains which can cause the ground to become soft or washed out. Inspect the playground for any wobbling or loose hardware.
- Inspect the grill before using it
Like with playgrounds, grills can form issues from non-use. Before firing up the grill, do a thorough check and inspect for any leaks in your holes, mold under the lid or cover, or loose hardware.
Once your grill is clean and ready for use remember to employ general safety practices. Don’t step away from the grill and leave it unattended, and if you are using charcoals, make sure they have completely cooled before throwing them out.