A backyard is an extension of your home and provides a safe outdoor area for children to explore. Studies have found that children with yards are more likely to play outside than those without. This winter in Ottawa is predicted to be cold and snowy, with the worst of the weather hitting in January. It’s good for kids to play outside in the frost and snow, but you do need to make sure that your yard is safe.
A secure fence
The Farmers’ Almanac has predicted that there will be storms in the areas surrounding Ottawa this winter. The tail end of a storm can cause damage to your fence and even blow it down. Snowfall is also predicted to be higher than normal. Snow can cause fencing to warp, crack, expand, and break. Good quality fencing is needed to keep your children safe and in the confines of your yard. Regularly check it throughout the winter. As soon as you notice any issues, act quickly to repair or replace it.
Deter disease-ridden rodents
Rodents, such as rats and mice, don’t hibernate and will hang around your garden during the winter just as much as they do in the summer. Kids often find these animals cute and want to pet them. Unfortunately, wild rodents can carry some nasty diseases, such as Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, that can make humans sick. The good news is that their haven’t been any reported cases of Hantavirus in Ottawa since it became a notifiable disease in 2001. As illnesses like this can cause horrible symptoms, you should discourage rodents from your yard so that there’s no chance of your child getting sick. Keeping bushes trimmed back and the lawn neat and tidy will help. If you’ve got pets that toilet in your garden, clean up their mess as quickly as possible.
A cold winter means there will be lots of frost and ice on the ground. Young children, in particular, are likely to slip on this. Before letting your children into the yard to play, remove as much of it as you can. Avoid using deicers packed full of chemicals as they are unsafe for pets and wildlife. Instead, make your own with hot water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap.
Most children love playing in their backyards and they should be happy and safe places for them to be this winter. Make sure yours stays that way by following these top safety tips.