It’s easy to get a little, well, horizontal in the summer isn’t it? Long hot days and long cool drinks. Lying around on the beach or in the back yard, relaxing in the sunshine whilst the little ones amuse themselves digging for worms or practicing batting techniques – but beware, you don’t want your summer fun and festivities to be rudely interrupted by a mad dash to the emergency room do you? Summer is just the time when you need to be even more on your guard to keep the children safe, school’s out, the long summer days are full of outdoor entertainment, friends for supper, that sort of thing. You’ve got to make sure that you, and your environment are prepared before the summer fun even begins.
- Make sure that the area where you grill is a “no play zone” for kids and pets – and make sure that they know the boundaries and don’t go near the BBQ grill until it has completely cooled. (Needless to say this grilling zone needs to be well away from the house, the bushes etc).
- Charcoal grills can be started with the proper lighter fluid or briquettes, but certainly nothing else. Keep well away from anything flammable.
- Gas grills need to be checked for correct fittings and leaks before lighting (don’t use a match to do the checking!)
- BBQ grills are designed to be used OUTDOORS ONLY.
Swimming Pool Safety
Children should never be left unattended close to a swimming pool, even if they can swim. When I say “unattended” I mean unattended by an adult, children are not capable of being responsible for each other. Drowning can happen really quickly and in only a small amount of water, so even if you have a small inflatable pool with a couple of inches of water it’s enough to drown a child.
Swimming Pools should be fenced around the complete perimeter, with a self closing and self latching gate so that small children can’t get near to it. Stay alert and don’t take your eyes off children for a single minute, especially when they are close to a swimming pool. Inflatable rings and toys are great fun but they’re not intended to combat drowning, only you can do that.
Gardening Equipment Safety
Gardening tools and other equipment needs to be stored safely too. We’ve all seen the cartoons where someone steps on a rake and gets hit in the face – well, it can happen. Tools should be stored safely, especially the sharp ones. All fertilizers and chemicals need to remain in their original containers and stored safely away from children too, on a high shelf or in a locked cupboard, with a child proof lid. (I know, children are the only ones who can figure out how to open some child proof lids, but that’s just the way of the world).
Summer ought to be a time of fun and relaxation, and by following just these few simple rules it can be enjoyable for everybody.