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Creating a Safe Backyard Haven for Your Kids

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Children love spending nice days (and even some chilly days) running around and playing in your backyard. Even though it may be your very own backyard, there are still some safety concerns with potential risks for injury and danger.

 

Your backyard may be a great place for hanging out on the deck with a cold drink or a spot for grilling your favorite summer foods, but in your child’s eyes, your backyard is so much more. It’s hard to remember being that age, but the backyard is a jungle filled with wild animals, a city where a superhero is needed to protect all the people and a magical place where the birds and bunnies talk and tea parties are a daily must. The great thing about kids is no special equipment, or expensive accessories are required. The only thing that is needed is a clean, safe environment ready for a big imagination. If you chose to add in a few extras like a swing set or sandbox, I’m sure your little ones would be appreciative.

 

The unfortunate part is that some 200,000 injuries occur at play areas every year in the U.S. Most of these happen at home. We’ve got a few valuable tips from the playground safety experts at Rubberecycle (www.Rubberecyle.com) to help get your backyard in top shape and ready for your little one’s adventures.

 

  • Define Areas of Play—if you don’t have a fenced in yard, start talking to your kids very young about what are safe and unsafe places to play. Make sure they know the parameters, so they don’t stray off. Even if you have a fenced in backyard, make sure your kids know if there are areas they shouldn’t explore, like near an air conditioning unit or egress windows.

 

  • Leave Some Nature for Exploration—kids need a certain level of nature for exploration to nurture healthy learning and development. It’s totally okay to leave some sticks, stones and pinecones lying around. It will help them better understand nature, teach them to be resourceful and develop their creativity. There’s nothing more fun than a few acorns and pinecones.

 

  • Create Safe Learning Nooks—after removing any possible items that could be a hazard to your children (sharp sticks, rusty nails, boards with splinters, etc.), make simple learning centers for them to explore and play. It doesn’t have to cost much or take a lot of work. It could be as easy as bringing in an old tractor tire and filling it with sand or plant tall grasses and a butterfly garden in it together. An old fence gate can become the entry to an incredible jungle or faraway land. Bring in a small tent and they’ve got a play house now too. When they are a bit older, you can add in water play areas (children 3+ with supervision).

 

  • Swing Sets & Play Areas—kids love a great swing set but make sure the setgame you install is suitable for your child’s age. Always opt for rubber swings with no ropes or cords. Slides and platforms should be no higher than 6’ for kids 6+ and no more than 4’ for preschoolers. Slides can get dangerously hot in the summer causing severe burns. If you have the option, purchase one that stays cold to the touch in the heat or checks the temps yourself before allowing them to play on it on even warm days.

 

  • Ground Coverage—always cover areas under and around playground equipment with shock-absorbing material like rubber mulch at least 9-12” deep. Rubber mulch is much safer than its traditional wood counterpart. Grass alone will not provide as much cushioning as mulch or rubber panels.

 

  • Perform Inspections Throughout Season—check bolts and screws often to make sure they haven’t come loose on any playground equipment. If you have a wood play set, do a thorough check weekly for wasp nests. Wasps love to build their nests in wood. If you have a sandbox, use a cover for it when children aren’t at play. This prevents animals, such as cats, from making use of it.

 

  • Never Leave Garden & Yard Equipment Out—always store the lawn mower, weed whacker, and garden tools in a safe spot with a lock or door. Kids like to imitate their parents and pretend to do lawn work for fun. A hoe may not seem like a dangerous tool, but if it becomes a sword for a bad guy, it can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.

 

  • Never Leave Children Unattended—never leave young children unattended, especially without a fenced in backyard. It only takes a minute for an accident on a play set needing stitches or causing a head injury.

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Bio

The folks at RubbeRecycle are all too familiar with the myriad of safety concerns and potential hazards on the playground turf and provide expert advice on playground safety. Playsafer Rubber Mulch was handpicked by First Lady Michelle Obama for the White House playground due to their stellar reputation for superior safety, quality and service. It is the first and environmentally responsible mulch made from 100% recycled rubber used in gardens, playgrounds, and sustainable landscaping. Rubber Mulch is weather resistant, durable, and the most cost-effective mulch


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