Summer is the perfect time to get your little one outside to explore her world. But just like in the home, the outdoors is teaming with hazards to your baby. Keep an eye out for these often-overlooked safety concerns and rest easier when you’ve squelched them.
1. Chemicals – Fertilizers, plant food, pest control products, chlorine for swimming pools…they are all dangerous to your child and are just as interesting to little eyes. The colors, textures and unusual smells of these items practically beg to be explored, so be sure to put each of these things up high and out of reach. Or better yet, keep them out of sight completely.
2. Dirt, mulch and rocks – Most yards will have one or all of these components, so avoiding them is next to impossible. But since dirt can get into and scratch little eyes, rocks, pebbles and stones are choking hazards, and mulch can harbor biting insects or be responsible for slivers in little feet, keep a sharp eye on your sweet pea to ensure these materials stay on the ground where they belong.
3. Uncovered sandboxes – Sure, playing in a sandbox is a virtual rite of passage for a toddler, but they can also be hazardous in a very unexpected way. Meandering cats have been known to treat sandboxes as outdoor litter boxes, so a tarp or wooden cover for your play sand is your best defense for keeping animal urine and feces away from your babe.
4. Kiddie pools – Gates, covers and other barrier methods are common protective devices for deep swimming pools, but kiddie pools are often left outside, filled up and uncovered. But did you know a child can drown in as little as a couple inches of water? And not just hose water, but rainwater, too. To be absolutely sure your kiddie pool is not a drowning hazard to your baby or anyone else’s, empty out the pool after each use and turn it upside-down for storage. For additional pool safety tips check out the government backed site PoolSafety.gov
5. Backing up cars – Adults are distracted. Kids are in their own world. This combo can be deadly when an adult is backing up a car and a child is on the loose. It takes but a brief moment of miscommunication or distraction to injure a child (or worse), so be sure your baby is being held or is otherwise captive before anyone backs out of the garage or driveway. While many vehicles are equipped with buzzers and rear video cameras, even the most sensitive alarms can miss a small child at times. Don’t take the chance – keep your baby far away from moving vehicles – always.
Summertime is full of exploration and excitement. By using the smart tips above and being on high alert safety-wise at all times, you and your child can rejoice in the fun of the season and have many great memories to show for it.
Liberty Kontranowski is a freelance writer with hundreds of health, lifestyle, beauty and sex articles published online and in print. She is a regular contributor of quality articles to AccessRx.com, a safe and secure online medications facilitator and health resource center