Were those backyard upgrades during quarantine worth it?
Being stuck at home during most of 2020, I–like many local moms–had to get creative to keep our Boca kids entertained, especially over the summer. Some parents decided to install swing sets. Others sprung for new swimming pools. I went the inflatable slide route myself, even though my daughter really wanted a trampoline. But a new study has found that many of these fun upgrades are actually potential accidents waiting to happen for children right in our own Boca backyards.
As if I didn’t have enough to worry about as a mom.
The 2021 Summer Home Safety Report from SafeHome.org found that parents are truly underestimating the dangers lurking for children at home. Only 19% of the more than 450 people surveyed expressed backyard safety concerns. And, five of the most dangerous activities are ones that we thought were amazing additions to our homes last year!
Being a Florida parent, I’m well versed in the danger of fatal child drownings, yet there has been a steady rise according to government reports. Plus, as backyard parties come back with a vengeance, accidents are bound to happen while children and adults spend their time playing, relaxing, and socializing outside. A whopping 63% of summer-related injuries are impacting children ages 2-11!
Here are the 5 most dangerous activities plus tips for Boca parents to prevent injury:
- Trampolines: No. 1 most emergency room visits per year with 3,193. To avoid injury, check that bolts are tight, install a safety net enclosure, put padding over the frame and springs, and set jumping rules with adult supervision.
- Monkey Bars: No. 2 most emergency room visits per year with 2,804. To avoid injury, make sure the child has enough upper body strength to swing, place padding underneath to soften any falls, check for loose bolts and wood splinters.
- Open Porches and Balconies: No. 3 most emergency room visits per year with 2,793. To avoid injury, install safety netting or plastic guards to covers spaces between rails. Use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Slides: No. 4 most emergency room visits per year with 1,618. To avoid injury, do not go down the slide with your child in your lap, teach your child to go down feet first and remove any dangerous debris from the landing spot.
- Swing Sets: No. 5 most emergency room visits with 1,469. To avoid injury, tighten equipment before use, and ignore pleas from your child to push them too high.
Let’s try to avoid the ER during the last few weeks of summer, folks. And if you stay home, be sure to stay safe!