Summer Backyard Safety Tips - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on June 23, 2014

Summer Backyard Safety Tips

Your backyard can be a sanctuary in the summer months, especially when you know simple safety tips for around the yard.

Dr. Matthew Richlen, a family practice physician with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group – Brown Deer, offers these tips on how to stay safe outdoors and enjoy a hazard-free summer.

Swimming Pools

It seems like the only way to beat the heat during the summer is to take a dip in a pool. Whether you own one or not, here are some easy guidelines for safe swimming:

  • Build proper fencing around pools.
  • Never leave young children unattended around swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Enroll children in swimming lessons at a young age.
  • Keep children no more than an arm’s length away when swimming.

Lawn & Garden

Correcting unsafe habits in the yard is easier than weeding your garden. Stay on the safe track with this advice:

  • Wear sturdy shoes when doing yard work; never wear sandals.
  • Clear your work area of debris that can get thrown or caught in lawnmower blades and other equipment.
  • Supervise children during yard work; never let kids put dirt, seeds or plant bulbs in their mouths.
  • Make sure children are away from power equipment and sharp tools.

Play Equipment

Summer is always more fun without casts and crutches. Here are some recommendations for an injury-free summer on the swings:

  • Pad the surface below play equipment with sand, shredded tires or wood chips.
  • Never use wet or damp equipment. 
  • Avoid wearing items with hoods and drawstrings that can get caught.
  • Check to see if equipment is cool enough to sit on or touch.

Mosquitos & Ticks

Just like people, bugs like to spend time outside when the weather warms up. Avoid spending your entire summer scratching bug bites by following this advice:

  • Use bug repellent with DEET on skin and clothing.
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding spots by dumping out standing water.
  • Stay inside when mosquitos are most active at twilight.
  • Check your body for ticks after being in dense brush, woods or fields.

Sun & Heat Exposure

Summer heat and rays from the sun can cause serious heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat camps and heat exhaustion. Know the symptoms of these illnesses and stick to these suggestions:

  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with at least SPF 15. Learn more about how to select the right sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of fluids such as water and sports drinks and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine. 
  • Dress in light colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
  • Take plenty of breaks when exercising outside; choose cooler times of the day to be outdoors.

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Summer Backyard Safety Tips