The backyard offers a perfect relaxation spot for your family and guests. However, it may pose as a great danger, especially for young children. Kids love exploring and they always find something exciting to play with, often times dangerous for themselves. I remember that I loved to climb on roofs and play with wasps nests for example. I remember falling through the roof of the shed once, and luckily coming out from it unharmed. I was also unharmed after dozens, maybe hundreds of bee stings too. I wish my kids are better prepared than I was.
Therefore, maintaining the safety of the garden to ensure the comfort of children as they play around is a must. Remember, things that seem perfectly safe may be extremely dangerous for kids.
Taking extra precautions and step to keep your garden secure and safe is very important. Here are essential safety tips before letting your children into the backyard.
A secure and well maintained fence is crucial. Ensure the fence door is always properly locked. Any holes or openings in the garden fence should be covered up immediately to avoid bigger problems. This protects toddlers from ending up in your neighbor’s (unsafe) garden, or even worse – on the streets. Proper fencing is an effective way of keeping a wandering kid in a secure space.
Young children are fond of putting everything they come across in their mouths, particularly if left unattended. Therefore, you should clear all poisonous plants from your backyard (especially poison ivy) to protect your children from becoming sick. Plants with spiky leaves such as hollies, roses or cactuses should not be planted next to the stairs or decks where kids can easily touch them.
Furthermore, harmful chemicals like insecticides and pesticides used in the garden should be kept out of your child’s reach. Keep them in a locked and safe place.
Store gardening tools and equipment safely
Gardening tools such as forks, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers and racks should be kept in a place inaccessible by kids. You should store the tools in a locked shed the moment you are done with the gardening tasks.
In addition, if you use stakes to support the plants, use ones that are taller than your kids. Small stakes may cause eye injuries to toddlers.
Using a pool fence is extremely important. A pool fence is so important in fact that it is obligatory in Australia, where a regulation by the government stipulates that private pools should have necessary safety barriers that surround the pool.
It helps eliminate unforeseen accidents and keep kids from drowning. Pool safety is a major concern and must not be overlooked. Having a properly installed pool fence around the deck will enhance safety and keep your mind at ease especially when you have the whole family out relaxing.
This infographic will help you improve your pool safety even during the winter while the pool is not in use, a time during which about 1 in 5 drownings happen:
Infographic produced by Aqua Vista Glass
Look out for insects
Although most insects found in the backyard are not harmful, some of them might hurt your children. You should look out for harmful insects such as wasps, spiders and bees and protect your kids from being stung. Moreover, it is prudent to have a first aid kit to act immediately in times of emergency.
You should also control ant hills in the garden or areas where toddlers play. It is good to educate bigger kids about measures that should be taken in case of bee stings.
Secure your water fountains
One inch of water in a fountain base might be enough for young kids to drown, as their head is heavier than their bodies. You can enhance the safety of your fountain by reducing water level to less than one inch and filling it up with beautiful stones.
Of course, nothing will ensure that your kids are safe as much as constant supervision will. Having kids at arms length at all times might be mandatory, especially if they are too young to understand the dangers they are facing in the backyard.
Last, but not least, make sure to always wash both your and your child’s hands, both when you go to the backyard and when you are coming back to the house. If your child has any cuts or bruises, use an antiseptic on them.
Keeping your garden secure will not only guarantee the safety of your kids but also make those relaxing moments pleasurable.
Earnest Parenting: helping parents keep the backyard safe.