Having a backyard at your home is a wonderful amenity. A beautiful backyard gives your entire family a space to exercise, get fresh air and spend time together. Your backyard can be ideal for pets or entertaining, depending on your lifestyle. It can also improve your home’s resale value.

If you have kids, you do want to make sure that it’s a safe space, however. Designing a safe play area is important for your own kids’ well-being and also for friends and visitors they might have over. You never want to be responsible for another child being hurt at your home.

With those things in mind, the following are tips and ways to make your backyard a safer space for everyone.

General Things to Check For

Before you start creating a dedicated play area, there are some things to check for in your backyard.

To make your backyard safe, the first step is to buy cedar fencing materials renowned for their durability and resistance to decay. Once you’ve acquired the right cedar fencing materials, install them meticulously to create a secure and aesthetically pleasing perimeter for your outdoor space.

First, make sure there aren’t any potentially weak tree branches. Weak branches can be a safety hazard if a child pulls on them. They can also be a fall hazard. If there are any big trees in your yard or near your house, make sure the branches are trimmed and well-maintained.

If your backyard includes a wooden deck, you should check it regularly to make sure there aren’t rotting or warped boards or any nails sticking up.

You can replace the boards that need it, give the deck a regular pressure wash and seal it. When you seal the deck, it helps extend its life.

Anything made out of wood is inevitably going to deteriorate over time, so check for weak spots and cracks and repair them ASAP.

Something a lot of families may not initially think of when it comes to backyard safety for both children and pets is the wildlife that may live nearby.

For example, there may be coyotes that wander around where you live. A fence is the best way to keep animals out. Some animals can jump, climb or fit into tiny spaces, so you might also want to use some type of animal deterrent.

Check for and, if necessary, treat pest infestations. Wasps can be especially dangerous.

Some types of stinging insects can burrow into the ground, so check there as well as the more obvious spots.

Things in your backyard that can present a safety hazard to your children, other children, or pets can also include ladders, hoses, chemicals, and garden tools. Everything needs to be put away when you’re done using it so that kids can’t access it.

Adding a Play Space

If you’re going to add a play space to your backyard, put most of your attention into the planning phase.

Start by setting a budget. Get to know more about your options, the brands, and how much of the project you can do yourself. If you’re not comfortable with your own ability to build a playset or play area, you need to factor in the costs of installation and labor.

You want to choose features for an outdoor play area that is well-suited to your children’s current age and abilities. Ideally, opt for items that can grow and expand with them.

When you’re choosing a site for a playground, you need a leveled area. Otherwise, if your yard isn’t level or is hilly, you’re going to have to pay to have it cleared and leveled.

Most equipment requires that you have a minimum of at least three feet around each side, and you have to think about swing clearance if you’re including those. You can buy the equipment at Swing Set Mall that would surely create new feature to your backyard.

Other factors when choosing a site for playground equipment are water levels, whether debris could fall into the area and irregularities in terrain.

Measure very carefully before you buy anything.

If you can afford it, safety surfacing can be a way to significantly reduce the risks associated with a play area.

Cheaper options include sand or wood chips, but more expensive and better options include rubber materials.

While you might spend more upfront for rubber surfaces, they’re going to degrade less quickly than something like wood chips that have to be constantly replaced, so the trade-off could be worth it.

When you install playset equipment, check it regularly for signs of wear and tear.

If you’re currently shopping for a playset, make sure whatever you choose meets the American Society for Testing and Materials standards for residential equipment.

Think About Skipping the Trampoline

It’s not necessarily a great idea to have a trampoline in your backyard. A study from the Orthopedic Society of North America found that over a nine-year timespan, more than one million people visited emergency rooms for injuries related to trampolines. Nearly one-third of the injuries included broken bones, and 90% of these were in kids 16 and younger.

As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the recreational use of trampolines.

If you are going to have a trampoline, be aware that 75% of injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time. Also, if you’re getting a trampoline, check to see if your homeowners’ policy covers related injuries because many don’t.

Be Careful with Fire Pits

A lot of families opt to have backyard fire pits, but of course, they can pose risks.

Make sure your fire pit is actually a pit, as opposed to a spot in the yard. Create a barrier around your pit with materials that are fire-resistant, and locate it away from trees in your yard and your house.

Finally, if you can afford to install a fence, this is a great option for safety, peace of mind, and the value of your home.

Installing a fence keeps kids and pets in and keeps other things out. The taller your fence and the more geared toward privacy and security, the better.

Your backyard can be an oasis for everyone in the family that’s safe and secure, with a little planning upfront and some regular maintenance.