Safe Kids Kansas

Preventing Accidental Injury.

July 19, 2010

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Outdoor Injury Prevention Starts in Your Own Back Yard

Safe Kids Kansas offers families important outdoor safety tips

Topeka, Kan. -- Most parents regard their home as one of the safest places for their children, however injuries can happen anywhere, even in your own backyard.  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 that you apply to sports, playgrounds and swimming should also apply to those activities in your own back yard,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “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, or wading 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 Sage.  “Make sure that you store the pool upside down so that it cannot fill with rainwater.”

Safe Kids Kansas offers detailed guidelines about pool safety and playground safety at  In addition, Safe Kids Kansas recommends these precautions for activities in the back yard:

Lawn Mowers
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the power lawn mower is one of the most dangerous tools around the home. Each year, approximately 68,000 persons with injuries caused by power mowers were treated in emergency departments in the U.S. More than 9,000 of the people hurt were younger than 18 years. Older children and adolescents were most often hurt while cutting lawns as chores or as a way to earn money.

Lawn mower injuries include deep cuts, loss of fingers and toes, broken and dislocated bones, burns, and eye and other injuries. Some injuries are very serious. Both users of mowers and those who are nearby can be hurt.

To prevent lawn mower injuries to children, the AAP and Safe Kids Kansas recommend the following:

For more information about outdoor recreation safety, call 785-296-1223 or visit

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14.   Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of  Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.)  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.

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