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Safety and Injury Prevention

Backyard and Pool: Household Safety Checklist

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Outdoors/Backyard/Pool

  • Are all walkways and outdoor stairways well lit?
  • Are all walkways clear of toys, objects, or anything blocking a clear path?
  • Are all sidewalks and outdoor stairways clear of concrete cracks or missing pieces?
  • Are all garbage cans securely covered?
  • Are all swing sets parts free from rust, splinters, and sharp edges?
  • Are all parts on swing sets or other outdoor equipment securely fastened?
  • Is the surface beneath the swing set soft enough (cushioned with material such as sand, mulch, wood chips, or approved rubber surfacing mats) to absorb the shock of a fall?
  • Are all outdoor toys put away in a secure, dry place when not in use?
  • Is there climb-proof fencing at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) high on all sides of the pool? Does the fence have a self-closing gate with a childproof lock?
  • Have all ladders been removed from an above-ground pool when not in use?

Other Safety Issues

  • Have you removed any potentially poisonous houseplants?
  • Have you instituted a no-smoking rule in your home to protect kids from environmental tobacco smoke?
  • Have you considered possible health risks from — and if indicated, tested for — lead, radon, asbestos, mercury, mold, and carbon monoxide?
  • If there are guns in the home, have they been placed in a locked cabinet with the key hidden and the ammunition locked separately?
  • Do you always supervise your child around pets, especially dogs?

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: December 2009

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

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