Here are some tips on safe gardening:
- During the annual back yard spring clean-up, make sure that all tools including rakes, scissors, pliers and cutters are not left lying around, but rather are stored safely out of the reach of children.
- As the snow clears, the backyard pool, although not in use is still a drowning threat for a young child. Make sure that you take all the necessary safety precautions to avoid a tragic accident.
- When planting bulbs and plants make sure these are out of the reach of small children, as some can be poisonous when ingested and others can pose a choking threat if inserted into a young child’s mouth
- To prevent injury from cuts in the yard parents should make sure that the ground is free of potentially sharp objects such as broken glass. Also teach children to avoid playing in bushes with thorns.
- The outdoor-backyard shed usually contains tools, and products that can be very dangerous to children. Always keep the backyard shed or “Cabana” locked.
Each year about 9,400 children receive lawn mower related injuries in the USA. For this reason the following tips should be kept in mind:
- Lawn mowers can propel objects such as nails and broken glass at very high speeds. Flying objects can very seriously injure a nearby child. Therefore always be clear of children when mowing the lawn. As a matter of fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to keep children under the age of 6 indoors during mowing.
- Children should not be allowed to ride on lawnmowers nor be towed behind mowers in carts wagons or trailers.
- Keep lawnmowers locked up and out of the reach of children at all times. The same goes for fuel, oil and other chemicals or potentially toxic substances.
- Children should be at least 16 years of age in order to operate “ride on” mowers and at least 12 years old for push lawn mowers.
Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.