We know how important outdoor play is for well-being, and that children learn through play. The garden is the perfect place for relaxation, getting closer to nature and breathing easy. There is the worry that it is not a protected environment for children to be in. It needs to be a safe space for your family. Luckily, it just takes some fore-thought and a quick sort out to make sure you’ve childproofed and you are ready to get the family outside!
Double check the plants in your garden. Take time to learn what they are and if they pose any dangers. Berries can look tempting to youngsters, look out for cuckoo pint and English yew. Watch out for foxgloves, a common garden plant with a tall stem and purple flowers. Deadly nightshade is just that. Monkshood is one of Britain’s most poisonous plants. Knowing what to look out for will put your mind at ease.
Nettles are hardy, and can give a nasty sting. Although they are great for attracting wildlife – caterpillars, butterflies, ladybirds and birds, you may want to remove them from your garden to avoid any run ins.
Even the shallowest bodies of water are dangerous for children to be around. The safest option is to fill the pond in if it is already there, or wait until a child is at least five years old to build one. If filling in is not an option, minimise the risks. Position the pond where it can be seen from the house. If the pond is small, cover it with a combination of heavy-duty wooden trellis and wire mesh. If it is a large pond, put a fence around to ensure children cannot access it. You could grow plants around the deeper side of the pond to stop children getting near the edge.
Children are full of curiosity and love to explore, finding their way into unexpected places. Great for their imagination, not great for your stress levels. Giving them a safe area they can play in, whether its swings, a slide or a climbing frame, means you know where they are. Rubber chippings give a safe, soft, low maintenance surface under play equipment to ensure the fun is uninterrupted and you have peace of mind.
Mundane garden items could be hazardous to children. Make sure the hose is away on a reel, tools such as spades, forks and hand trowels are locked away in a shed. Any bottles of herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals should also be locked away out of reach.
Make sure the fences are high enough and there are no holes. Gates need to be childproof and secure.
It seems like the garden is a dangerous place for children, but that is not true, it just takes a bit of consideration and planning. If you need any help making a safe playground in your garden we are happy to help. Email email@example.com or call us on 0151 357 1391.