Backyard dangers that can be fixedPublished 2:48pm Friday, July 6, 2012
3) Dangerous grill placement. A leading cause of barbecue fires is placement of a grill next to combustibles like a wooden deck rail, awning or low hanging tree branches.
To fix: Make sure your grill isn’t within 10 feet of your deck, hanging vegetation or the side of your house.
4) A weather-worn deck. Water can seep in and warp most decks that haven’t been waterproofed every 2 to 3 years. This increases the chance of falls.
To fix: First, inspect your deck every year, for areas most susceptible to moister, like the “ledger board,” where the deck attaches to the house. Also, check for cracks and splits.
Another potential problem with decks, wood play sets and picnic tables is some of their pressure treated wood contains arsenic. This can increase risk of sickness and cancer to kids, even though the use of arsenic was phased out in 2003. Be sure to seal such wood once a year with a penetrating sealer and replace highly exposed areas like handrails, steps and deck boards with non-arsenic alternatives.
5) Pesticide residue. Whether conventional or natural, pesticides can pose a real hazard. These can make children and adults alike, ill.
To fix: Install bird houses and feeders to attract birds that feed on insects. You can even grow plants like parsley and sunflowers that attract predatory insects that don’t hurt other plants, but destroy insects that do.
Diet or exercise question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and personal trainer for 26 years.
He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, Converse college equestrian team, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.