Having a birthday party for your child means inviting lots of other children round, and all of them become at least partly your responsibility. You need to make sure that everything is as safe as possible before you get the party started. Here’s how to avoid accidents and injuries!
Kidproof the House
Don’t expect that everything will only happen in the yard – some kids are bound to find their way inside too. Whether they need to use the toilet, or just walk through in order to get to the yard, they need to be kept away from hazards. So how do you do this?
Start with removing anything that could potentially be dangerous and placing it inside a locked cupboard or an upstairs room out of the way. This includes things like bleach and other toxic cleaning fluids, sharp knives from the kitchen, and anything valuable that you would not want to see broken (such as a delicate vase).
You should also be aware of low hazards such as sharp corners on tables or kitchen units. You can purchase foam corners which fit onto these temporarily, meaning that if anyone does run into them, they will get a bump on the head rather than a nasty cut.
You should prepare for whatever kind of weather might be thrown at you – even if it isn’t forecast. Tick off these preparations before the first kids arrive.
Have a sheltered area such as a marquee in case of rain or hot sun. This can also serve as a food tent with seating.
Provide bottles of sun cream that are suitable for children and make sure everyone regularly tops up
Have spare umbrellas resting inside the marquee in case of a flash rain shower
Guard Potential Hazards
Make sure that you also cover off any areas that could potential be hazardous for children. Here are some examples to watch out for.
Holes in or under fences: cover them with plastic sheeting or rope them off so that kids are not tempted to try to climb through or under them.
Water features such as swimming pools or fountains: again, rope these off so that kids can’t fall in by accident or get stuck trying to climb in. If you are going to allow swimming, make sure that an adult is stationed there at all times to watch out for kids who slip or can’t swim well.
Steps and stairs: you could mark these off with hazard tape on the floor to draw attention to them – distracted kids are likely to trip up or fall down, especially if they have a plate full of party food to focus on.
Food preparation: if you are barbecuing or otherwise cooking food outdoors, be sure to keep kids away as much as possible. They should not be in touching distance of hot elements and sharp items like barbecue forks also need to be kept away.
Food stations: provide hand sanitiser on the food table. This way, parents can direct their children to clean their hands before eating, making sure that they do not put dirt, sand, or other backyard bacteria into their mouths.
The number one thing to make your yard safe for a children’s birthday party is supervision. No matter how many precautions you take, kids will always find a way to get themselves into trouble! Responsible adults should be present in each area of your yard at all times so that kids cannot slip away unsupervised and end up hurting themselves.