One of the joys of spring for children and adults alike is the chance, after being closeted by winter, to enjoy the opportunities for play and relaxation offered by that personal park we call a yard. Protect your family and guests from harm when it's once again time for children to play in the yard or, for you and your guests, simply to bask in the open air and refreshing new growth. Here are a few yard safety tips:
- Yard chemicals. Be sure to read the warnings on pesticides, fertilizers, weed preventers and other yard chemicals. Then set guidelines for children, pets and adults as to what areas are to be avoided following applications and when those areas will be safe again. Discuss any need to wear proper protective clothing or to wash or treat skin exposed to potentially harmful substances.
- Outdoor cooking. Always use grills and other outdoor cooking appliances safely. Perform proper maintenance, know correct usage techniques, and keep children and pets at a safe distance.
- "Rules of the yard." Teach children — and guests — your rules of the yard. These should include: plants to be avoided; safe use of pools, swing sets, toys or other playground equipment; and removal of or warning about potential dangers, such as old appliances, tools, large branches, pointed objects, tripping hazards, and slippery surfaces (especially when wet from a pool, sprinklers, or afternoon shower).
While your homeowners insurance does not protect you or your family from losses due to yard injury, it does provide protection for medical injuries or liability for injury to guests. Even so, it is far better that no one gets hurt. Use these and other safety tips to keep your family and guests free from harm.
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