Having home insurance protects you, your family and your home from financial distress, but it doesn’t help protect you from injury in your own yard. Every year thousands of Canadians are injured on their own property. When the warm weather rolls around you and your family are much more likely to be outside, working and playing… and possibly sustaining injuries. Here are some tips to keep your yard accident-free this summer.
Whether you have a swimming pool, a hot tub, a pond or a kiddie pool, children should always be supervised when playing outside near bodies of water. Drowning is often silent and quick so younger children especially need to be watched. If you do have a full-sized pool or hot tub, make sure that residents of your household have swimming experience and are taught water safety rules from an early age. Animal who are not familiar with pools and ponds should be supervised as well.
Have a fence around your pool with a gate that locks if possible. Hot tubes can also have locking covers to prevent injury.
Clear the area around your pool, spa or pond of any electrical hazards. Surprisingly electrocution happens quite frequently due to having this debris around water.
Everyday Yard Safety
When mowing your lawn, make sure you are wearing appropriate clothing (long pants, closed toed shoes0 and that have you have properly cleared the yard of visible rocks, toys and debris. Children should not be allowed to stand right near to the person mowing the lawn, and as well should not be allowed to operate the lawnmower until they are responsible and strong enough (usually over the age of 12.)
Try to hide or secure all extension cords around your yard so no one trips over them. Check your cords frequently for frays as well.
Keep all chemicals, paints, tools, etc. out of reach of little hands. If you and your child are doing a chore together that requires hand or power tools, practice good safety rules and always supervise, or take over when needed. Make sure all of your tools are cleaned and put away every day.
Have you ever tested your garage door? Slide a roll of paper towels underneath the door whn it’s closing to make sure it goes back up as soon as it touches the towels. And make sure that your kids know not to run under the garage door and to stand clear while closing AND opening.
If you have broken or uneven steps, repair them immediately so no one on your property trips.
Never use a pressure washer on a ladder! The momentum could push you backwards right to the ground. You should make sure your pressure washer is in good form before turning it on, and that you have read the manual. It should not be pointed at people or animals as the stream is so hard it could severely injure someone or something.
When outside in the heat, be sure to wear appropriate clothing. It’s so tempting to just run out into the sun, but a hat, light clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses protect your body from harmful rays that could burn, and from heatstroke. If it’s too hot, stay in the shade and only perform light physical activity.
Be realistic about what you can and can’t physically handle. Don’t try to lift things that are just too heavy – enlist help. If you have to climb a ladder make sure it is set up on a level surface and that someone is holding it for you as you climb.
If your kids are head outside for a game of tag make sure they are wearing appropriate. Closed-toe footwear and not shoes like flip-flops that will lead to stubbed toes and tripping.