Enjoying fresh air and sunlight is one of the easiest ways to improve the health of yourself and your baby. Countless studies have shown the benefits that fresh air can have on your mental and physical health. According to the CDC, getting enough sunlight during waking hours can even help you and your baby sleep better at night.
When it comes to letting your baby play in the backyard, it is important to follow some safety measures. Not to mention, once babies are crawling, there are a whole host of other dangers that they face. Follow these 10 simple steps to help keep your mobile baby safe when playing in the backyard.
How to practice backyard safety for a mobile baby
1) Check for ant piles and other stinging or biting insects
Many grassy areas, especially backyards, tend to become home to all types of different insects and critters. It is important to check your yard for any ant piles or other insect nests such as bees and wasps to make sure that there aren’t any bugs posing a threat to your baby.
2) Remove poisonous plants
Since mobile babies are extremely curious about everything that surrounds them, it is very important to rid your backyard of any poisonous plants. Poisonous plants that grow naturally will vary depending on where you live. Some common poisonous plants to look out for include poison ivy and poison oak. Familiarize yourself with any poisonous plants that are native to your area to identify any potential risks.
3) Practice sun protection
Some sun exposure is great for health but be sure to limit your babies direct sun exposure to avoid a sunburn or skin damage. Protective clothing such as a sun hat should always be worn by your baby when playing in the sun and if you plan to let your baby play outside for an extended period of time, you should apply some natural, baby friendly sunscreen for additional protection. Having an outdoor sunshade or umbrella will also allow for your baby to play outside for longer periods of time with a minimal risk for sunburn.
4) Fence off and cover pools
One of the biggest backyard dangers for babies, toddlers, and young children is swimming pools. The CDC states that most drownings in young children occur in home swimming pools. If you do have a swimming pool, make sure it is fenced off and covered. Never allow your baby to play anywhere near the swimming pool without supervision. Always keep your baby safe with a flotation device if you will be getting into the water with them.
5) Use a playpen as a safe space for your baby
By setting up a spacious playpen or play yard for your baby, you can have a guaranteed, safe, secure area to set them down. Playpens can even double as a sun shade, to keep your baby cool and out of the sun.
6) Keep dangerous items such as lawn equipment locked away
If you own any dangerous tools, such as lawn equipment, keep it locked away in a shed or garage where your baby can’t get to it. Never underestimate a baby’s ability to get into things and hurt themselves. It’s always best to play it safe and keep any dangerous items far out of reach.
7) Make sure fences are sturdy and up-to-date
Keep your baby safe by checking fences and other structures for sturdiness. Check for any rotting or splintered wood that could cause injury if touched by your baby. Make sure wooden fences are strong and up-to-date to avoid the risk of it falling over and causing injury.
8) Keep your baby out of the grass if pesticides or herbicides have been used recently
Harmful chemicals found in pesticides and herbicides could cause serious health issues for your baby such as a risk of developing cancer later in life. If your yard has been sprayed, don’t let your baby play in the grass for at least 48 hours or longer.
9) Always supervise outdoor play
Never leave your baby to play outside unsupervised. It is recommended to wait until your child is at least 5 or 6 years old to allow them to play outside unsupervised, if your yard is fenced in. If your yard is not fenced in, you should wait until your child is at least 8 years old. However, you should still always be close by and check in on your child regularly.
10) Be aware of neighborhood pets
Neighborhood pets such as cats and dogs can sometimes pose a risk to your baby. Young children and babies often don’t understand boundaries and might get too close to a dog or cat, causing it to feel threatened. Always pay attention to your baby and watch out for any animals or pets who are nearby.
Additional tips to make your yard more baby-friendly
Once your backyard is safe and secure, you can start to focus on some of the fun steps you can take to make your backyard more baby-friendly. Here are a few simple additions to incorporate to help encourage your baby to have fun while playing outside.
- Install a swing to give your baby a fun and relaxing place to play.
- A jungle gym is a worthwhile investment that your child can play on from toddlerhood all the way into elementary school.
- Babies love to play in water and a kiddy pool is the perfect summer activity to keep babies busy, happy, and comfortable on a hot day.
- A sand box will give your baby a fun and safe area for sensory development and imaginary play.
- Try laying out a big blanket to give your baby a safe and comfortable area to crawl around.
- Do some outdoor crafts with your baby such as coloring and painting.
The backyard is a wonderful place for babies and children to learn and grow. With the right safety measures in place and regular supervision, you can create a baby-friendly backyard to keep your baby happy and comfortable while enjoying the sunshine.
The Pop N’ Go Playpen is a safe outdoor playpen that is easy to set up and comes with an included UV sun shade.