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Backyard and Pool: Household Safety Checklist

Outdoors/Backyard/Pool

  • Are all walkways and outdoor stairways well lit?
  • Are all walkways clear of toys, objects, or anything blocking a clear path?
  • Are all sidewalks and outdoor stairways free of concrete cracks or missing pieces?
  • Are all garbage cans securely covered?
  • Are all swing sets parts free from rust, splinters, and sharp edges?
  • Are all parts on swing sets or other outdoor equipment securely fastened?
  • Is the surface beneath the swing set soft enough (cushioned with material such as sand, mulch, wood chips, or approved rubber surfacing mats) to absorb the shock of a fall?
  • Are all outdoor toys put away in a secure, dry place when not in use?
  • Is there climb-proof fencing at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) high on all sides of the pool? 
  • Does the pool fence have a self-closing gate with a childproof lock?
  • If the pool can be accessed through a door to the house, do you have a door alarm installed?
  • Have all ladders been removed from an above-ground pool when not in use?

Other Safety Issues

  • Have you removed any poisonous houseplants?
  • Do you have a no-smoking rule in your home to protect kids from secondhand smoke?
  • Has your house been tested for lead, radon, asbestos, mercury, mold, and carbon monoxide?
  • If there are guns in the home, are they kept in a locked cabinet with the key hidden and the ammunition locked separately?
  • Do you always supervise your child around pets, especially dogs?
Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: March 2018