Hazards in Your Backyard that You Might Not Know About 

Your backyard is supposed to be a safe place for you and your family. There are hazards, however, that you might not be conscious about. So, it is worthwhile to recognize them, prevent them from happening or completely eliminate them. 


1. Terrain hazards. Uneven and slippery surfaces, steps or cracked walkways, or those that have been exposed to the elements. Additionally, wet grass, and mud can be dangerous when walking. One could trip or fall over holes in the ground. Holes that collect water during a rainstorm are also hazardous, especially for small children, since water could create a drowning hazard to them. They must, therefore, be filled in quickly. Maintain the walkways in your yard by clearing moss from paths and repairing cracks or uneven surfaces in pavements. 

2. Exposure to poisonous plants. Certain plants are poisonous and could cause dermatitis when people get in contact with them. One should be able to identify them and quickly remove and dispose of them safely. To avoid contact when disposing of them, use pants tied at the legs, a long-sleeved shirt and heavy-duty gloves that extend past the wrist. A barrier cream could also help protect the skin from contact.

3. Insect bites and stings. Bites of certain insects and stings of hornets, bees and wasps could cause pain and swelling, especially on people with allergic reactions, and could lead to serious illnesses. If a person develops hives, has difficulty breathing and swallowing, or has been bitten or stung near the eyes, nose and throat, he/she has to be immediately attended to by a  medical personnel. Avoid eating in areas where there are bees or hornets, since they are naturally attracted to food odors. Family members have to be taught not to panic if they find a hive or nest. They should back away slowly, then run when the insects begin to sting.  

When staying outdoors at dusk or at night, one could get exposed to the hazard of being bitten by encephalitis-carrying mosquitoes. This disease could be deadly so staying outdoors at night should be avoided. Sources of standing water should be removed to reduce mosquito breeding areas. Turn over, cover, or remove containers that accumulate water.

4. Tick bite. The deer tick carries a bacterium that causes Lyme disease. When bitten by this particular kind of tick infected with Lyme disease, most people develop a rash. They may also exhibit other symptoms similar to flu symptoms like fever, lymph node swelling, neck stiffness, generalized fatigue, headaches, and joint or muscle aches. Ticks love bushy, overgrown and woody areas so, removing leaves, tall grass and brush from these areas would decrease tick habitat and the chance of being bitten. Likewise, wearing high boots or closed shoes covering the entire foot, wearing a hat and using an appropriate insect repellent should also help. 

5. Snake bite. Snakes love hiding in piles of brush or debris in your yard and storage sheds. They could pose danger to those who venture in their hiding places, especially when bitten by a venomous one. Clear your backyard of leaves and other debris and periodically check storage sheds. 

6. Trees. Trees could pose a hazard in the backyard under certain conditions. During a storm, branches of trees could fall off or the entire tree could fall onto a structure or a person. A tree could obstruct a power line or ease of movement around the backyard. A tree that has structural defects could cause injury to people or damage property and, therefore, would need to be pruned or removed. These actions would necessitate the hiring of a reliable tree lopping company who would have certified professional tree experts that could do the work safely.  

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