Kidsafe Wa CEO, Scott Phillips dropped into the studio this morning to chat with Mike about how to keep our backyards as safe as possible.
Safe Storage The everyday backyard has items such as chemicals, poisons, garden materials, tools and machinery which can be dangerous for young children. They must be locked away securely. Safe storage means:
- A lockable garage or shed with high inaccessible storage areas
- All locks and catches should be child-resistant
- Ladders stored out of children’s reach
- Swimming pools and spas must be fenced with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Poisons stored both locked away and up high in their original containers.
- Restrict access with isolation fencing around a pool or spa with a self-latching and self-closing gate.
- Always watch your child in and around water.
- Learn what to do in an emergency: basic first aid and resuscitation.
- Cover garden ponds with wire mesh that will hold the weight of a young child and positioned to close to the surface.
- Empty containers such as buckets and wading pools when not in use. A child can drown silently in as little as 5cm of water.
Outdoor eating often means barbeques, parties and social eating. Barbeques can be dangerous:
- Flammable liquids should never be used to light any fire.
- Always watch children around barbeques to prevent burns from hot metal, flames or spitting oils and fats.
- Always turn off the gas and disconnect the bottle when not in use.
- Keep matches out of children’s reach
Safe in the Sun
Children need to be protected from the sun, too much sun during childhood can cause skin cancer as they get older. To stay safe in the sun:
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, generally between 10am and 3pm.
- Have a good shade area in the backyard so that children can play out of the sun.
- Use clothing that provides protection from the sun. Broad-brimmed or legionnaire style hats and clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Cotton and lycra can have good sun protective properties.
- Use an SPF 30+ sunscreen on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun.
Work and play
Children get injured when adults are working in the backyard. So:
- Keep the toolbox out of reach
- Keep the workbench clear
- Keep caps and lids on all containers
- Keep children separate from the work activity.
A farm is a home but it is also a busy and dangerous workplace. It is important for children on farms also have a safe backyard.
Provide a safe place to play, next to the house and fenced off from water, farm animals and machinery.
Supervise young children and always know where they are.
For more information (08) 6244 488
Child Safety Information Line 1800 802 244
Poisons Information Centre 13 11 26