The summer holidays are fast approaching here in Australia, which means that parents are gearing up for weeks of keeping the kids entertained. Naturally, this means making sure that your backyard is prepped for hours upon hours of safe outdoor activities.
But what safety measures should parents be making to keep their kids safe this summer? From shelter to swimming pool safety, we’ll be sharing our top backyard safety tips to help keep your kids playing outdoors with minimal cause for concern all summer long.
Inspect your fencing for signs of wear and tear
First and foremost, you should make sure that your property’s perimeter fencing cannot be breached by your kids. This means inspecting your fencing for signs of broken slats, gaps, or any other kinds of damage that may create an opening for young kids to slip through. The last thing any parent wants is for their young children to escape into a neighbour’s backyard or even out onto the street. Signs of wear and tear in traditional timber or even chain wire fencing also run the risk of causing injuries like splinters or scars.
Truth be told, safety and durability are two of the key reasons why we stock the fencing supplies that we do here at Outback Fencing. Alongside being easy to install and even easier to maintain, all of our fencing styles have also been designed to provide exceptional durability in all Australian weather conditions.
So if your timber fence palings are looking a little worse for wear, why not swap them out for our Colorbond fencing in the lead-up to summer? After all, the warmer weather as we transition from spring to summer truly makes this the perfect time to install a new fence.
Parents should also make sure that their perimeter fencing is manufactured and installed in accordance with Australian fencing standards. This means ensuring that the fencing behind your building line is 1.8-2 metres high (depending on your state fencing regulations), and front garden fencing is a maximum of 1.2 metres high in states where taller front garden fencing requires council approval. You can find more information about the fencing standards that pertain to your property on your local council website and other government resources.
Install play equipment away from fencing
Alongside making sure that your fencing can’t be breached by kids from its base or through broken slats, parents should also make sure that there are no trees or other kinds of structures that your kids can climb in order to jump over your perimeter fencing. A major point of concern here is typically the proximity of outdoor playground equipment to your property’s perimeter fencing.
If your child can potentially jump from the top of a piece of play equipment and over your property fencing, then that equipment should be repositioned. This same rule applies to any sheds or other backyard structures that could potentially be scaled to climb over your property fencing.
Parents should also ensure that any taller playground equipment is installed alongside accompanying soft surfaces like outdoor play mats or playground tanbark. This is an often overlooked backyard safety measure, but for young kids in particular, it’s a great way of minimising the risks of falls resulting in grazed knees or even breaks or fractures.
Secure your pool fencing
It goes without saying that pool safety is an absolute necessity for all Aussie families, but with summer around the corner, there’s simply never been a better time to refresh your pool fencing. Once again, parents should check existing fencing for any signs of wear and tear that could allow children to enter pool areas without adult supervision. If there are any potential spots where children and pets could breach your pool fencing, then we highly recommend you update your fencing and gates immediately.
Thankfully, if you have glass pool fencing, swapping out any broken or cracked panels and spigots is as easy as just purchasing a single panel and spigots to replace the faulty ones. However, if your glass fencing panels have cracked prematurely, now may also be a good time to reassess the safety ratings of your existing pool fencing. As our glass fencing is constructed using high quality safety glass, they can provide additional protection for households with smaller children or even rambunctious dogs that are prone to some heavy-duty zoomies. After all, it’s not just your kids’ safety that you need to be considering when updating your backyard safety measures in time for summer.
If you’re looking for dog-friendly backyard fencing, check out our top recommendations here.
Add shade and shelter
With the return of El Niño this year, Aussie families are preparing for a hotter, drier summer than usual. For parents, this means that adding shelter and shade to your backyard is an absolute must for ensuring that your kids stay safe during their summer school holiday period.
Thankfully, this particular backyard safety measure is as easy to attain as simply adding some tree cover to your backyard, or installing a sturdy tarp over focused play areas like sandpits. You can head to your local garden store to find trees or bushes for controlling your garden’s solar exposure. If you’d ideally like to move smaller trees or shrubs around your garden space, then you may even consider planting them in large pots. Our Hamptons style planter boxes are a great low-maintenance alternative to heavier ceramic garden pots.
Another good tip here is to make sure that your backyard has plenty of sun-safe surfaces for your kids to play on. Outdoor tiles and concrete have a knack for absorbing plenty of solar heat, creating surfaces that are dangerously hot and run the risk of burning kids’ feet. Contrastingly, timber decking is more likely to absorb and evenly distribute surface heat thanks in part to the gaps between deck slats. If you’d like to ensure that your kids can play outside on paved surfaces without accruing burnt toes, then installing some composite decking in your backyard may help here.
Invest in privacy
Finally, your kids deserve to play in their own backyard with absolute security and peace of mind. This means ensuring that your backyard is completely private and isn’t visible from the street. Thankfully, investing in solid fencing panels (as opposed to individual timber slats), can help to keep your backyard totally secure and free from any risks of holes or gaps in your property’s perimeter fencing.
And what if you live in the inner city and have more of a front garden than a backyard? In this case, you could opt to install security fencing to both protect your kids as you play as well as keep your property safe.
If you’re at all concerned about kids getting injured by running into security fencing, then you have the option to invest in our aluminium slat fencing instead. Designed with horizontal slaps and minimal gaps, these fencing panels are the perfect high-security fencing alternative that still maintains a low-key profile.
The final word
With a little preparation and careful planning, you can make sure that your home is fitted with all the backyard safety measures required to keep your kids playing safely and securely all summer long. So be sure to follow these backyard safety tips in the lead-up to the summer holidays!
If you’re looking to revamp your backyard fencing and other accessories to keep your family safe and comfortable this coming summer, then consider checking out our full collection here at Outback Fencing.
Have questions about any of the products in our range? Then simply get in touch with our friendly team for more information or assistance when purchasing your new fencing supplies.