If you have young children then you probably know that they are always underfoot. It can be incredibly hard to get things done when they are around, but similarly, you have to try because they never seem to be anywhere else! For this reason, it's a great thing that most kids are gung-ho about helping out with chores. However, you must always take precautions to keep them safe.
One place you must always be aware of their safety is in the yard while you are doing yard work. Kids are at risk of getting injured around yard tools and equipment, as they can get into things quickly and don't understand the hazards.
Power Tool Safety
One of the most important things you can do to keep kids safe when it comes to yard work is to turn off any power equipment when they are around. All it takes is a moment for a potentially disastrous accident to happen. If you have small kids, it's a good idea to keep them away completely when it comes to power equipment like lawnmovers, trimmers, and weedeaters.
You may think that they will be safe, but there's the added fact that these machines make a lot of noise, making it easy for a child to get into trouble without you even hearing. It's better to be safe than sorry by just keeping your children away altogether.
If you are doing tasks that they can help with (such as weeding or light gardening), make sure they are wearing proper protective footwear, and enough sunscreen to keep their skin safe. Hats and lots of water to drink is also a good idea. You also might want to make sure that their clothing is appropriate for the type of work you're doing, and that they are not wearing any jewelry that could get snagged. This also goes for long hair, which should be tied back.
If your child is going to be outside when you're mowing the lawn, make sure you've had the discussion with them that they're not to go near the lawn mower. So many kids are injured by the lawn mower each year. According to studies, 13 kids are taken to the ER every DAY over injuries related to lawn mower accidents.
"The most common types of lawn mower injuries were cuts (39%) and burns (15%)," the results show. "The hand/finger was the most commonly injured body region, followed by the leg, feet and toes. While most children were treated and released, more than eight percent were serious enough to be admitted to the hospital."
Hazardous Item Safety
It is imperative that if your kids are helping you with yard work that you are supervising them well. Additionally, make sure that you put away anything that they could harm themselves with, such as equipment, tools, shears, or other hazardous items. It can be all too easy to put down something that could injure a child, then forget it. It doesn't take long for a child to get into trouble, especially with things they aren't usually allowed to have and are curious about.
Educating Your Kids
Another aspect of keeping your kids safe when it comes to yard work is educating them about hazards. This includes telling them the proper ways to bend and lift so that they don't incur a back injury. This may also include educating them about harmful insects and what they look like, and the reasons for them to stay away from power tools. If kids learn why certain things are dangerous, they may be less likely to be curious and investigate secretly on their own.
Yard work can be a great way to get kids involved, if it's done in a safe manner. By taking simple precautions, you can help get your kids helping out with yard chores in a way that is safe and fun.