Safekids Logo

1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
July 6, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Outdoor Injury Prevention Starts in Your Own Back Yard

Safe Kids Kansas Offers Yard Safety Tips

Each of five major child injury hazards — motor vehicles, drowning, burns, falls and poison — can be found in the back yard during the summer. Riding mowers, inflatable pools, home playground equipment and even natural vegetation and sunlight require a few simple precautions.

“All of the safety guidelines you apply to sports, playgrounds and swimming apply to those activities in your own back yard,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “An inflatable pool needs to be surrounded by a fence, just like any other pool. A home playground needs to be anchored on an appropriate surface just like equipment on a public playground.”

Kiddie pools should be emptied when not in use. “Kiddie pools are just as dangerous to a small child as full-size pools — a child can drown in just a few inches of water,” says Stegelman.

In addition, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions for activities in the back yard:

  • Treat a riding mower like any other motor vehicle: keep ignition keys out of reach and look around before backing up. Never carry children as passengers on a lawnmower; children should stay in the house whenever a mower or other power equipment is being used.
  • Remove potential poisons from your yard, including poisonous plants, pesticides and pool chemicals. Teach kids not to handle or eat any part of a plant unless you know it is safe.
  • Keep children away from the grill area while preheating and cooking and while the grill is cooling.
  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, apply insect repellent to a child’s clothing and exposed skin. (Check with your pediatrician if you have any questions about the instructions.)
  • Teach children not to disturb or feed any wild animals, no matter how harmless the animals may seem.
  • Apply sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher to your child’s exposed skin 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply frequently. (It is possible to get a sunburn in cloudy conditions.)
  • Make sure children drink plenty of water. Children who seem tired or achy should rest in the shade or go inside for a while. Get immediate medical help any time a child’s skin is hot to the touch (with or without perspiration) or if a child has a seizure or becomes disoriented in hot weather.

For more information about summer safety, visit:

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit