Gardens can be magical places for children, providing a space in nature that they can play and stretch their imaginations, all while getting some fresh air and exercise. Your lawn, hedges and garden shed might look basic to you, but to a child your garden can easily become a vast jungle, spaceship or assault course. However, your garden could hold some hazards for children that will soon spoil their fun should they get hurt. To ensure that your child’s playtime remains magical and free of tears, here is how you can child-proof your garden.
Remove poisonous plants and fungi
Children are notorious for putting things in their mouth, and the garden is full of plants, berries and fungi that could look appetising for child. Berries and mushrooms, in particular, look tasty and children might recognise them from their own fridge and think that they are universally edible; however, poisonous plant life, such as deadly nightshade and foxgloves, can cause a stomach upset at the very least, and in some cases even prove fatal. Remove all poisonous plants and fungi as soon as they appear in your garden, and instruct children that some berries are for the birds rather than humans, and as such should not be eaten.
Remove a tree
Trees can provide a garden with many benefits; for instance, providing a home for birds and wildlife, creating a natural barrier for more privacy, and adding some design interest. However, they can also prove to be a huge hazard for young children. Large, overhanging branches can be too much of a temptation for adventurous children who want to climb the tree and might get stuck up there through fear or fall from unstable branches. Additionally, a tree might be rotten and disintegrate easily, causing abrasions and falls. Hire a tree surgeon Halesowen who will be able to either trim back a tree or remove it completely depending on what is most suitable for your family.
Watch out for uneven surfaces
Many gardens include some form of uneven surfacing, whether those are the steps leading from your patio to your lawn or a gravel path. However, these can soon become hazards to excited running children who trip up on uneven patio flagging, causing grazed knees and tears. Make sure that any loose or uneven surfaces are secured as soon as you notice them, and regularly check your garden for any developing hazards.
Secure gates and fences
Unlocked gates and fences with holes in them could encourage your child to leave the safety of your garden and go on an ‘adventure’ – and be an invitation to disreputable visitors. Additionally, broken fences and rusty gates could cause splinters and cuts requiring a tetanus shot. Make sure that all fences and gates are well maintained, ensuring that there are no exposed nails, and make any repairs as soon as they are required. Check your gates are securely locked when your children are playing outside, and always keep a watchful eye on them.