How To Eliminate Chain Link Fence Safety Risks For Small Children
As a parent, your child's safety is always on your mind. In fact, you may even opt for enclosing the backyard or an outside play area with a chain link fence to keep your little one safe and secure while he plays outside. What you may not realize is that, without proper safety measures, a chain link fence can pose a hazard to your child's safety. Try these solutions for making a chain link fence safe for kids.
Deter Climbing: It's no secret that children love to climb, and chain link fences provide them with convenient hand and toe holds for getting the job done. Unfortunately, young children don't always know their limits and can either climb over the fence or get to the top and not know how to get down. They may accidentally topple over the fence or become stranded until help comes along. To prevent little ones from climbing the fence, add privacy shields to the fence. These strips weave into the holes of the chain link fence and effectively remove hand and toe holds. You can buy them at your local home improvement center or ask your contractor to install them. Privacy shields also prevent strangers from observing your child at play and trying to approach him.
Cover Sharp Edges: Under normal circumstances, the top edges of your chain link fence may be fine without protective safety rails, but when young children are involved it is better to be safe than sorry. Install safety covers over the sharp edges at the top of the fence to prevent children from catching clothing on the fence while they play or from cutting themselves on raw edges. This may be sold as baseball fence crown, fence top cap protectors, safety covers for fences or any variety of similar names. You can install it yourself, as the cover typically comes in coils of corrugated or smooth plastic that is clamped in place over the top of the fence. Your contractor can advise you on the proper installation or can do it for you when the fence is installed.
Install Childproof Gates: Even if your little one is too young to open and close doors, he will soon master the skill. That means you should soon place safety latches on your doors to keep your youngster safe. Gate are no exception. Install childproof latches on all gates in your chain link fence to prevent your child from opening the gate and wandering into dangerous territory.
Use Adequate Fence Posts: Saving a few dollars is never an excuse for putting your child's safety at risk. That applies to the cost of installing a fence, too. Don't cut corners when it comes to the number of posts you use with your chain link fence. Check that your contractor plans for a post every 4-feet to provide adequate support for the fence. If your child accidentally falls against the fence, or finds a way to try to climb it, it may topple under his weight if you do not have adequate fence posts to sustain his weight
Minimize Under the Fence Clearance: Climbing isn't the only escape route your youngster may explore. If you leave too much space between the bottom of the fence and the ground, your child may wiggle his way through the opening. As a rule, there should be no more than 2 to 3 inches between the bottom of the fence and the ground. If your yard has uneven ground, your contractor may need to level the soil or fill in low points to keep the clearance to a minimum. If you have concerns about gaps under your chain link fence, build a simple raised bed to obstruct the gap and fill it with bright flowers.
Creating a safe outside place for your child to play gives you the peace of mind that he can spend time outdoors without the fear he may wander off or that unsavory strangers may come too near.
For more information and options, talk with your local fencing contractor company, such as Town & Country Fence.