Summertime means bbqs, picnics, and pool parties. And though it’s the perfect time to let loose, it’s also the perfect time to make sure your backyard is free of hazards before you have any guests over. Stay safe with these 5 summer safety tips.

1. Trampolines

Trampolines can be a fantastic way to burn energy and show off some sweet tricks. But, if used incorrectly, they can also be a source of  broken bones, concussions, sprains, bruises, and scrapes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In fact, a study by the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics revealed that trampolines had caused more than one million (!!) emergency room visits during the 9-year period it studied.

The AAP recommends avoiding backyard trampolines altogether. But if you do have one, they caution homeowners to ensure constant adult supervision, check equipment frequently, and allow only one jumper at a time.

2. BBQs

Hot dogs and hamburgers are a must … but burns don’t have to be. Although almost half of grilling injuries involve thermal burns and are a leading cause of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are some things you can do to stay safe.

The obvious tip is to ensure you never leave your grill unattended. But you should also keep it clean  one of the leading causes of home grilling fires is a failure to properly clean the grill. Other good rules to follow? Ensure that your pets and children stay at least 3 feet away, and always keep grills far from the home, deck railings, hanging eaves, and tree branches.

3. Bonfires

Your son has just toasted the perfect marshmallow —golden on the outside, gooey on the inside. He swings around to show his sister and thwap! The marshmallow flies off the end, causing her a serious burn. Or, the stick pokes someone. Or, the roaster gets a little too close to the flame.

To avoid these kinds of injuries, make sure children understand not to wave or point sticks. Also make sure they’re standing far from the fire  if roasting marshmallows, they should not be able to feel the heat of the flame. If the marshmallow catches on fire, don’t blow on it, which could lead to burns on the face or hands. Instead, drop it to the ground and step on it. And always have a bucket of water nearby for any unexpected flare-ups and to extinguish the fire when done.

4. Pools

Do. Not. Look. Away. Not for one second. Not to check your phone. Not to glance at a magazine. Not to look at the person you are talking to. When someone is in the pool, it’s imperative that a watchful adult give the pool and its occupants full attention.

Tragically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are about 10 non-boating drowning deaths in the United States per day, and about 20 percent are children age 14 or younger. And, for every child who drowns, another 5 receive emergency treatment.

The only way to help prevent this tragedy? Being hypervigilant.

5. Drunk driving

Does a summer party equal a cocktail or beer to you? Quite likely, given that statistics show there’s an increase in drunk driving around the Fourth of July holiday. So, add one more thing to the equation, and that’s a designated driver. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Safe and smart | Home safety


about Cathie

Cathie Ericson writes about personal finance, real estate, health, lifestyle, and business topics. When she's not writing she loves to read, hike, and run. Find her @CathieEricson.