Playing outside is a fun pastime for many children, and it’s also a great source of exercise. Unfortunately, the outdoors can be a hazardous place, even if it’s your own back yard. As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to protect your children from harm. To ensure a safe experience for your kids, learn to recognize these four common threats and how to protect against them.
Pests are just as big a threat outside your home as they are inside. In fact, they can be worse in many cases. Bees are one of the most prevalent threats to your child’s safety. Many kids are highly allergic to bee, wasp and hornet stings, and such incidents can lead to anaphylactic shock if left untreated. Rodents are another problem, especially in rural areas. Their urine and droppings carry numerous harmful bacteria and viruses. Ticks are also cause for concern if you live near the woods. These vermin may carry lyme disease, which can cause complications for life. It’s wise to employ sound pest control methods around your property to discourage these critters. You could consult with pest control professionals such as companies like Hart Pest Control to determine the best actions to take for your yard and family.
Even plants can cause harm. The most well-known examples are poison ivy and poison oak, which cause contact dermatitis resulting in itchy, sometimes painful rashes. Some plants are also poisonous, but only if ingested. Giant Hogweed, another dangerous plant, is phototoxic. Exposure to its sap results in severe skin reactions when exposed to sunlight, causing blistering and permanent scarring. If it gets in the eyes, blindness may occur. You should learn to identify harmful plants and take steps to eliminate them from your property. Furthermore, teach children how to recognize these plants and tell them to steer clear when they see them.
The outdoors are a dirty place loaded with potentially harmful pathogens. Many of these are the same that cause food-borne illness, such as salmonella and E. coli. It’s important to impress good hand-washing habits on your children to help prevent accidental ingestion of bacteria and subsequent illness.
Things like scrap metal, broken glass and old, rusty fencing don’t mix well with curious children. Aside from the dangers of sustaining serious cuts and puncture wounds, sharp debris can also transmit tetanus, a bacteria common in rust. Be sure to keep your yard free of such hazards and if you use mulch or play sand, make sure there is no broken glass, nails or bits of metal in it. Also, always make sure your child wears shoes when venturing outside.
Children are naturally curious and playful, and may not always be mindful of the dangers around them. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to protect them from threats to their health and safety by rooting out and eliminating the above hazards.