Protect Your Children This Summer With These Garden Safety Tips

The school holidays are almost upon us (at the time of writing), and if you're lucky enough to have a garden, then much fun is guaranteed for your children (let's just hope the weather holds up). Of course, as we have discussed before on this website, your garden needs to be child-friendly. And one of the ways you can achieve this is to make sure your garden is safe. There are a number of hazards that need to be considered, and to help you, we will list some of them here.

Play equipment
From climbing frames to swings and slides, you can purchase all kinds of play equipment online or from your local supermarket. And while fun and games are almost guaranteed, you are also guaranteed more than a few bumps and bruises if safety isn't a priority. So, when erecting play equipment in the garden, ensure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines to the letter and never substitute parts. Place them in a safe area of the garden, such as away from prickly bushes and hard driveways to reduce the chances of an injury should a fall take place. You want to make sure the ground is safe to land on too, so you might want to consider replacing your grass with something synthetic, such as the fake grass from Synturf, or you might want to lay down sand or rubber mats if you have only designated one particular area for your play equipment.

Fencing and walls
Children love to explore, and especially if you have younger children in your family, they might be tempted to escape the confines of your garden if there are any gaps in your fencing. Especially when living near a busy road, you don't need us to tell you of the dangers here. Another hazard is an ill-maintained fence, with the risk of splinters, and if you have a stone wall, there is the danger of collapse if it's old and crumbling away. Fill in any gaps in your perimeter using wire netting or new fence panelling, and if your fence or wall is showing signs of age, you should either replace it or place barriers nearby, so your children aren't able to go near. Having a professional fence contractor come in and put up sturdy fences is even better if you have the budget to do this. 

Hazardous plants
For starters, you should pull out any nettles and prickly and thorny bushes near your children's playing areas, as they are obviously hazardous to your children. You should also be mindful of any garden plants that could pose a danger to your children if touched or ingested, and if any are spotted in your garden, you should place barriers around them or remove them immediately. You can see an extensive list of dangerous plants here. It's a good idea to warn your children of any dangers too, so if you don't want to dig out everything in your garden, your little ones will at least know what they should and shouldn't go near. 

Other safety tips
If you're a keen gardener, you need to make sure you keep any sharp and dangerous tools away from your children, so be mindful of such things as your garden forks and power tools, and store them safely away after use. When removing those pesky weeds from your garden, you should use natural weed killers rather than their toxic chemical alternatives for the safety of your children. Remember to have a first-aid kit nearby in the event of a bump or graze, as well as the phone number for your GP in the event that you need advice from a qualified professional. Finally, it can be worth taking a first aid course too, like c2c in ottawa. That way you have some understanding of what to do in an emergency while you wait for help to arrive, it could literally prove to be life saving if you ever needed to rely on those skills.

This list isn't exhaustive, so continue your research online, and use your common sense too. And if you have any other safety tips for parents, please share them with us in the comment section below. Have a fantastic (and safe) summer!