If you have recently had children, are planning on having children, or are expecting children to be staying in your home, it is worth considering how safe your garden environment is for them. For adults, the pantomime stray rake is most likely the only danger to your safety. For children, however, an unguarded pond, a vegetable patch, or an open route onto a pathway could be more of a risk than you think.
To make a garden child-proof, you should avoid leaving gardening utensils lying around, have plenty of soft, grassy areas and ensure that any access to dangerous sections of the garden – or the exit onto the road or pathway – is restricted. However, the below tips will help you on your mission to create a safe haven for your children in your garden.
1. Lay more lawn
If your garden has no lawn for children to play on, it could be worth finding some turf or soft mats that you can put down over concrete or stone surfaces. Alternatively, you could grow some lawn from seed, to provide a natural cushion for any bumps and tumbles a toddler could make.
2. Create garage storage
For the best results in your attempt to clear away your gardening utensils for when children are using the outdoor areas, seek out better storage space in your garage or shed. These storage units should also be locked when not in use, to prevent inquisitive kids from breaking in and discovering something sharp or heavy.
3. Raise beds
Aside from safety, child-proofing your garden also includes attempting to keep them clean. This, naturally, can be a futile task as children will love nothing more than delving into flower beds and getting their clothes covered in mud. Teaching gardening basics to children is extremely important and beneficial, but you would prefer to introduce them to the flower bed on your own terms. Raising beds can keep children – and also pests – at bay.
4. Install side gates
To prevent children from crawling or running out onto pathways or roads, ensure you have a gate to keep them safe and sound. You can explore different high-quality wooden gates online. Durable and aesthetically pleasing gates work wonders for the safety of your garden but also in terms of making your home look complete.
5. Corner off the veg patch
A curious child will not think twice about eating an item of food that they recognise, or that looks similar to something they have eaten before. For that reason, leaving them unattended in vegetable patches could be unwise, as certain vegetables such as potatoes and sprouts can have harmful side effects to being munched on raw.
Corner off veg patches with barriers, ropes, or netting so that you can teach children about growing food and eating fresh produce when you choose to, and not after they have stolen a muddy carrot out of the ground.
6. Block off ponds
Ponds are a useful learning tool for children due to the wonderful wildlife that resides within them, but an unattended child and a concealed pond is likely a bad combination. Small, overgrown, or hidden ponds are especially dangerous for babies or toddlers who do not know they are there, as they can easily be fallen or slipped into, so make them clear and block them off.