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Porches, patios, and backyards can truly be beautiful things, especially during warmer months. Unfortunately, household hazards are a reality – and a backyard is no exception.

Here are the areas you should be aware of to help keep you and your family safe.

Toxic plants

More than 68,000 people a year are poisoned by plants, reports the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Most end up with nothing worse than an upset stomach or an itchy skin rash. However, some plants can be fatal, especially to pets and small children.

Watch what you use to plant near your home: Oleander, datura (also called jimson weed), and castor bean are all dangerous if swallowed.

Doggie Doo

Contrary to popular belief, dog poop cannot be used as fertilizer. Also, it contains tons of dangerous bacteria, viruses, parasites worms that can be very dangerous to humans – some of which can be passed just from skin-to-skin contact.

So be sure to pick up that poo and wash your hands carefully after throwing it away.


If your ladder isn’t long enough, you may find yourself overreaching. This increases your chances of what? That’s right – falling.

According to the Home Safety Council, use a ladder (at least 4 feet) that lets you work while standing four steps from the top. Your maximum reach should be no more than 4 feet above the ladder. Also, for added stability, follow the 4-to-1 rule: For every 4 feet the ladder extends up the house, bring the base out by a foot.

Bugs & Insects

A tick’s bite could leave you with Lyme’s disease, which can lead to months of exhaustion, and, untreated, can cause other problems, including arthritis, meningitis, or irregular heartbeat.

To avoid this, check for ticks regularly. Look all over for the small little tick, which may be raised on your skin, and keep an eye out for the bull’s eye rash that may signal the start of the infection. If you’re experiencing symptoms, including the rash or exhaustion, or if you’ve removed a tick from your skin, talk to your doctor.

Also, if you’re allergic to bees, you should have an Epi-Pen. You can also avoid wearing brightly colored clothes and perfume, and try not to eat or drink sweets that may attract the insects

Swimming pools

9 Health Hazards Right In Your Own Backyard  was originally published on

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