Backyard safety

Grills and fire pits

  • Keep your child away from a charcoal or gas grill that is in use. Teach your child not to touch or grab the grill. Keep all grilling supplies (lighter fluid, charcoal, gas, matches or lighter) in a cabinet out of your child's reach. If your child is playing outside after the cook-out, make sure the grill has cooled in case she bumps into it.
  • Keep your child at a safe distance from any fire pit or outdoor fireplace (chimney or pit style). Teach her the dangers of fire.

Lawn mower, garden chemicals and equipment

  • Do not let your child be outside while the lawn is being mowed.
  • Never let a child "help" push a gas or electric mower or ride on a riding mower.
  • Turn off the mower if children enter the mowing area. If you use an electric lawn mower, make sure the cord is not stretched too far across the lawn to prevent a tripping accident.
  • Put away ladders, tools, hedge trimmers, chain saws or any other home or lawn equipment when done with them.
  • Keep all fertilizer, weed killers, gasoline, oil and other hazardous materials/chemicals locked out of your child's reach.


  • Cover a sandbox when your child is not playing in it to prevent cat feces from getting mixed in with the sand.
  • If you have a deck with steps, consider installing a child gate at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Keep your child away from fireworks. Teach her the dangers and do not let her get too close.
  • Teach your child not to crawl inside latch type freezers, refrigerators, clothes dryers, washer/dryer units, picnic coolers and ice boxes in campers. They may be attractive places to hide during a game of "hide and seek." Teach her not to go into any of these, whether they are at your home, a neighbor's home, of if they are abandoned.

Recommended resources

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or "she" and "him" or "her."
Reviewed By: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic
First Published: 02/01/2010
Last Reviewed: 01/01/2016

Did you know?

More than 800 young children get run over or backed over by riding mowers each year. This happens when they fall while being given rides or when they approach a working mower.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission