Now that summer is here, many of us will be spending more and more time in the great outdoors. While being outside brings almost unlimited opportunities for fun and relaxation, it can also bring some risks. Here are a few of the most important safety tips to keep in mind as you and your family enjoy your backyard this summer.
Watch for Insects
Most mosquito bites are harmless, aside from being annoying. However, some mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus, which has made a resurgence in the United States this year. Always apply insect repellent before going outside. Keep an eye out for stinging insects like wasps and hornets, too– these bugs are aggressive, and they have no problems attacking anything that gets too close for their comfort. Safely removing nests and killing the bugs upon sight is the best way to cut down on infestations. A less high-profile creature, but perhaps the most dangerous of all, is the tick. Lyme disease can be debilitating, yet most of us don’t think about actively working to prevent it. Always check your socks and pants legs after coming in from outdoors, and watch out for ticks sticking to your pets, as well.
Don’t leave your grill unattended while it’s turned on. Fires can spark surprisingly quickly when they’re left unsupervised. If you have a propane grill, never spray flammable substances (like cooking spray in an aerosol can) directly onto the flames. Also, keep food safety in mind while you’re grilling. It’s a good idea to invest in a heat thermometer so that you can be sure that your food is cooked to a safe temperature all the way through. Avoid cross-contamination of cooking surfaces while preparing your food by washing anything that’s touched raw meat immediately.
Consider a Fence
If you have a pool in your backyard, a fence is an essential part of your safety plan. In-ground pools can become extremely dangerous to children and animals when there isn’t someone around to supervise. Prevent accidents by installing a high-quality fence around the pool, and securing it with a lock. Even if you have an above-ground pool, a fence can still protect your family. Not only does a fence keep kids and pets from entering the pool unsupervised, but it also gives your family privacy from any unwanted wandering eyes in the area.
Have a fun summer vacation but be sure to keep your backyard safety in mind. These tips can save you from an unpleasant summer.