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Product-testing lab offers backyard safety tips

June 1, 2011

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Northbrook, IL – Summertime activities send an estimated 2.3 million children to emergency departments each year, but many injuries could be prevented by some backyard safety improvements, according to Underwriters Laboratories.

A recent survey by the independent product-testing and certification organization found that 45 percent of parents have not made safety improvements outside their home in the past year. Additionally, one-quarter of parents reported placing a grill near the home, allowing children on play sets unsupervised and leaving water in kiddie pools overnight.

UL recently developed an interactive online tool that allows parents to create a model of their yard and identify possible safety hazards.

Among UL’s recommendations:

  • Keep grills at a safe distance from buildings, and never leave them unattended.
  • Carefully inspect backyard play sets to ensure equipment is safely anchored into the ground, all pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed and bolts are not protruding.
  • Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool, hot tub or spa. The supervising adult should be able to scan the pool every 10 seconds and reach the water within 20 seconds.

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