in the yard with your preschoolers

Make sure your yard is a fun, and safe place to play. Keep common items from becoming a hazard to your family's health with these simple guidelines.

Yard Safety Tips

Simple guidelines to make sure your child is safe in your yard at all times
For many families, their yard is merely an extension of their indoor living space. It's an outdoor living room, play room, and even dining room. Here's what you can do to keep it safe:

Lawn & Garden Care

  • Lawn-care products, insecticides, fungicides, plant food, and other garden chemicals should be stored securely in their original containers and kept well out of children's reach.

  • When doing basic yard maintenance like mowing the lawn or trimming shrubs, keep kids inside because of the danger of flying debris. For more information on mowing safely, check out the Injury Protection Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Handle pesticides and plant fertilizers with care, and store them properly. The Environmental Protection Agency advises allowing pesticides to dry before allowing anyone into the yard. Always follow instructions on gardening products carefully and dispose of chemical containers properly.

  • Never leave power tools and gardening tools out in the open or unattended, instead, store them in a locked shed or hang them up and out of kids' reach in your garage.

Grills, Barbeque Pits & Outdoor Fires

  • Always light your grill in an open, well-ventilated area. Never light or cook on a grill in an enclosed area like a garage due to the potential for build of dangerous and deadly carbon dioxide.

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises that you keep your grill far from anything that can burn--your home, your car, dry vegetation, shrubs, and kids or pet activity areas.

  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area by declaring a 3-foot "safety zone" around the grill. Discourage kids and pets from entering or playing in this zone.
  • Treat these places the same way you would treat their indoor counterparts. Train your kids to stay away from them when they're in use and always store them out of view, or keep covers and lids on when not in use.

  • Keep matches, lighter fluid, and flints stored out of sight.


Basic Rules of the Yard

  • Teach children never to pick or eat anything from your yard, and take the time to learn about the plants in your yard and find out which ones pose a hazard to your kids and your pets.

  • Always empty kiddie pools after use and never leave small children unsupervised while they are in the pool or playing with water toys. In-ground pools should have a locked gate that keeps kids out.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises having at least 9 inches of wood chips or mulch beneath home playground equipment.

    For more playground-safety information, see Playground Safety Tips.

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns parents about the dangers of "storing old cedar chests, latch-type freezers and refrigerators, camper iceboxes or large coolers, and old clothes dryers" in the yard, as these are potentially deadly hiding places during a game of hide-and-seek. They advise parents to "childproof old appliances" by removing doors and lids. Better yet, have them removed from your property to prevent children from playing inside them.

Fire-Safety Tips

Home Safety Advice

Important Disclaimer: This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a doctor with questions about your or your child's condition. does not recommend or endorse specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information provided by any sponsors or other third parties. Please also see's Terms of Use.
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