Make the Right Call: Making the great outdoors safe this summer
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The warm weather is a great excuse to enjoy outdoor living, and where children are concerned, it’s worth being aware of the potential hazards.
Dr Mashbileg Maidrag, consultant with Suffolk’s public health team, provides handy tips for a safer summer.
Gardens are generally safe and fun places for children to play, but there are a few things to bear in mind.
You should look out for potential exit points in your garden, especially if it is near a busy road or driveway.
Most plants and flowers are harmless, but some can be toxic if eaten, so make children aware of dangerous plants or keep them out of reach. The same goes for any weed or insect killer that you have applied.
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When using toys or climbing equipment, always follow the installation instructions. Don’t put climbing equipment or playhouses near concreted areas or too near walls, fences or large bushes.
Trampolines, while a children’s favourite, should be erected carefully, ensuring the surrounding area is free of hazards. It’s important to supervise children at all times, monitor the number using it and check the trampoline’s condition before use. For DIY enthusiasts, remember not to leave tools lying around, and never use power tools in the wet. Hoses, while great fun in hot weather, are not a good combination with power tools or any other electrical items.
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Paddling pools should be cleared away at the end of the day as they can fill up with rain overnight, posing a potential drowning hazard to small children. Ponds can also be dangerous, and should be fenced off so they are out of bounds.