Thursday 1 August 2019

Create a Safe Garden for the Kids with These Tips!

{collaborative content} These days, it can be a bit of a task to try and get children away from screens and technology and outside into the fresh air, so when you can drag them away, it's nice to be able to let them enjoy the garden without having to hover over them. Gardens are notorious for hidden dangers, many of which do not even cross our mind until an accident happens, so here, we look at a few ways to make it safer for children.

1. Risk assess your garden.

This sounds pretty extreme, but it is always a good idea to get down on your child's level and see the potential dangers from their point of view. Look around you and make a note of anything that could be potentially dangerous - loose bricks in walls, rough edges, ponds without some sort of protective cover, missing fence panels, tree stumps, etc. Sometimes, you have to call in a professional for bigger jobs, especially if it involves tree work.

2. Check how secure it is

This should be part of your overall risk assessment, but it is essential to make sure that your garden is secure and has clear boundaries. Do you share a garden with your next-door neighbour, or is there any potential for members of the general public to access your garden? Fix any fences or gates, make sure they are locked when your children are out there and keep an eye on them to make sure they are well maintained. If you have pets, make sure their toilet area is not accessible to children, or at the very least is cleared up immediately. 

3. Consider the plants

Before you plant something, check whether it is poisonous. Little kids are curious and often put everything they see in their mouths. Make sure the plants are all safe, and that anything that is thorny is located in a place where they are unlikely to scratch the children. 

4. Get rid of the pond or cover it up

Ponds can be entertaining and fascinating, but they are also the scene of many tragic accidents. If you do have a pond in the garden, you may want to think about filling it in, or at the very least covering it up until they are much older. Grids and netting can be effective and still allows them to peer in with supervision to see any fish and wildlife living in there while keeping them safe.

Paint a wall in outdoor chalkboard paint or attach a child-safe mirror to a fence. Most children love a bit of water play, so attach some guttering and pipes to the fence or a wall for them. Climbing frames and sandpits are a hit with children of all ages. Use paint on concrete to create a road or track for bikes and push along cars, or a cozy reading corner with bean bags and bunting. 

Your garden should be a space for everyone to enjoy and have fun in safely. Take some of these simple tips on board, and you will all enjoy it for many years to come. 

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