Backyard Recreation Safety
Playing outside is important as it helps with a child’s development, well-being and provides exercise. Watching your child while they are playing in the backyard is important because dangers can be present, especially if you have a swimming pool or trampoline. Owning a backyard pool comes with the responsibility of ensuring its safe use.
Here are some tips from our partners at Red River Mutual, to help you keep your backyard a safe place.
Trampolines are fun, but they are also responsible for a lot of injuries every year. There are several ways to ensure your family is safe on your trampoline.
- Make sure your trampoline is set up at least three meters away from any potential dangers like trees, walls, poles, and fences and that it is placed on a level and stable surface.
- If your trampoline doesn’t come with padded mats, it is a very good idea to add these, along with a safety net.
- Check that the springs are securely attached and not loose or missing.
- Check the mat to make sure there are no tears or holes.
- Keep the trampoline free of toys, sticks and leaves to
prevent slips, trips or awkward landings.
- Make sure there is nothing underneath the trampoline before jumping.
- Never permit children to play on a wet trampoline.
- Children under the age of six shouldn’t be allowed on trampolines due to a higher risk of injury.
- No more than one person at a time. Multiple jumpers increase the chances of collision and injury.
- No rough play while on the trampoline.
- No older kids on the trampoline while little ones are using it.
- Always make sure there is a responsible adult supervising children on a trampoline.
- To prevent unauthorized access, consider locating the trampoline in a fenced area.
There are simple steps that families can follow to keep their
backyard pools safe.
- Active adult supervision is of the utmost importance – never leave your child unattended, not even for a second.
- Build a fence (recommended at least 1.2 m in height, with gaps no larger than 10 cm) that has a self-closing and self-latching gate; keep the gate closed with restricted access at all times. Refer to your municipal bylaws for fencing requirements.
- Have an Action Plan including adult supervision, an emergency signal, safety equipment and emergency procedures.
- Establish pool rules. These can include: swim with a buddy, children must have an adult with them at all times, and no glass containers around the pool.
- Lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) should be worn by weak or non-swimmers.
- Few backyard pools are safe for diving – swimmers should always enter the water feet-first.
- Keep the deck clear of toys and debris to prevent trip and fall injuries.
- Enroll your children in Red Cross swimming lessons.
Take your children with you if you have to leave the pool for any reason.