8 Health Risks In Your Own Backyard

black couple grilling during family outing
You have a fence around your pool, you’re not a lighter fluid fiend, and you generally steer clear of planting anything known to be poisonous. So you have nothing to worry about, right? Actually, there are a few outdoor dangers you may not be aware of. Here are eight of the most common—and all are easily remedied:

1. Dangerous Grill Placement

Is your grill right next to the edge of your deck? You may want to move it. A charcoal grill next to combustibles (say, a wooden deck rail or low-hanging tree branches) is a leading cause of BBQ fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Easy Fix: Always make sure to leave a 10-foot clearing between your grill and deck rails, the side of the house, and overhanging plants.

2. 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.

Easy Fix: Do your homework before choosing backyard vegetation. A few common plants require caution: Oleander, datura (also called jimson weed), and castor bean are all dangerous if swallowed.