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Gardening Patch

Child safety in the garden

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Many thanks to Baby Discovery for contributing to this article.

Making your garden safe for children is just like childproofing your home. Checking your garden for hazards and making it safe for children to play enables you to relax.

How Do I Protect Against Water Features?

Ponds, water features or swimming pools should all be fenced off. A child can drown in 5cm of water. Teach your toddler about water safety and learning to swim at the earliest age possible. A paddling pool left with water in can be hazardous so always put away straight after use

How Do I Protect Against Hard Surfaces?

Rocky areas should be fenced off, these could prove irresistible climbing areas for over enthusiastic crawlers and toddlers.

How Do I Protect Against Garden Tools And Equipment?

Equipment needs to be locked away. Not only could a toddler do damage to your garden, more alarmingly they could do damage to themselves or another little one. Pesticides, Plant sprays and other assorted bottles and jars need to be kept locked away and on high shelves.

Check swings, climbing frames and slides for rust and general deterioration. Ensure that the ground around the equipment is soft, if your toddler or child should fall grass is much softer than concrete

Check your clothes line is secure and out of the reach of small children to avoid potential strangulation.

How Do I Protect Against Excrement & Rubbish?

Sandpits should always be covered when not in use. It is not the neighbourhood litter tray. Neighbourhood pets and birds do not always clean up after themselves and their excrement can make babies and toddlers extremely sick (they will put anything into their mouths!) Ensure that your garden routing involves burying of discarding anything they leave behind. Check that your drains are covered and dustbins fenced off.

How Do I Protect Against Poisonous And Harmful Plants

Assess the risk of each plant and treat individually and remove or fence off.
Below, is a list of common harmful plants which may be helpful:

Poisonous Stomach Irritation
Crocus Snowdrop
Foxglove Christmas Rose
Beladonna Hyacinth
Hydrangea Daffodil
Larkspur Iris
Lily Of the Valley Narcissus