One of the joys of having a nice garden is that you can let your children play in it occasionally. Unfortunately, there are plenty of outdoor safety hazards that can make your garden a dangerous place to let children roam. Especially when you have a greenhouse and dogs, like we do it could be a safer place for kids! If you want to make your garden as kid-friendly as possible, start with the following 10 tips:
1. Artificial Grass
Real grass is often home to bugs, noxious and thorny weeds that can leaves scratches and cause allergic reactions, rocks, twigs, and uneven spots that are easy to trip on. Of course, with routine care it is possible to maintain a relatively clean and safe real grass lawn but that would typically require the use of weed killers, most of which are toxic and not recommended for use in areas where children play. Thus, the safest route is to lay down low maintenance artificial grass sold by providers like Advanced Grass Solutions in California.
2. Post Safety Rules
If older children are going to be playing in the garden together, be sure to teach all of them the garden rules and leave them posted in large, easily readable words. Basic rules like “no chasing, pushing, or shoving while going down slides, using swings, or climbing” can help you prevent a great deal of unnecessary mishaps.
3. Designate a Child Safe Play Area
Depending on the size of your garden, it may be a good idea to designate a separate play area for the kids. This will help you keep them away from common backgarden dangers like the grill area, the garage, or an area where there are bikes that can be tripped over.
4. Add a Fence
Adding a fence gives you the comfort that your kids won’t just walk off into the street or neighborhood at any given time, and there’s a nice barrier between them and any random person who might be walking by your garden. Therefore, every kid-safe garden should be fenced to some extent, even if you’re just using a small fence to cordon off a play area. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY guides that will show you how to build fenced play areas.
5. Remove Rocks and Harmful Plants
Whether you decide to keep a natural lawn or go with artificial grass, you should definitely be removing the rocks, sticks, harmful plants and other potential hazards from the surface of the garden. This might take quite bit of bending over and looking around, but it’s worth it to know your kids won’t be falling on rocks or getting thorns stuck in their feet.
6. Scan the Garden for Holes or Dips and Fill Them In
Most gardens have at least a few small holes, dips, and lumps here and there. Ideally, a kid-safe garden should be completely flat and well-cushioned, so be sure to go around and fill in any holes and dips and flatten down humps.
7. Avoid or Get Rid of Metal Playground Equipment
If you’re considering playground equipment and swing sets, steer clear of vintage metal sets with hard surfaces. Look for the plastic alternatives or those with padding that wraps around the poles. Many kids have been badly injured due to accidents on metal play sets, so be sure to at least remove this component from the child safe zone of your garden if you already have one.
8. Secure Pools, Ponds, and Streams
Obviously, children under a certain age should not be allowed unhindered access to any body of water, especially if it is deep enough for them to drown in. That means you’ll need to find a way to keep the kids from wandering into the pool area, and the same goes with any small fish ponds, motes, creeks, or streams.
9. Keep All Dogs On Leashes
Many people are dog-friendly with their kids and they have no problems, but then there is the rare exception where a nice family dog suddenly bites a child and badly injures them, or tries to roughhouse with a younger child and injures them accidentally. Having dogs around children while on a leash is one thing, but leaving them to run around with kids in the garden is not exactly the safest option being that they’re animals with large teeth and claws and many breeds are bigger than toddlers.
10. Make Adult Supervision Mandatory
Regardless of how child-safe your garden is, children should never be left alone unattended. That should go without saying, but there are still many parents who are lenient in this regard. There are so many things that children can get into outside, and with nobody to protect them they are vulnerable to all sorts of hazards. Thus, don’t allow kids to play in your back garden unless you’re there to watch over them at all times.
Teach Your Kids How to Safe in Any Garden
In closing, while it is always a good idea to childproof your garden and home when you have young children, it’s also important to teach kids from a young age about possible outdoor hazards that they should avoid, whether at the park, at school, or in their own backgarden.
Grass image by ShutterStock.