Having a fenced-in garden can offer tons of playtime freedom for kids, as well as some downtime for mums and dads. The little ones can go outside at leisure during the warm days of spring and hot days of summer, getting away from the television and video games that consumed their lives throughout winter and give their bodies a much needed workout. Parents can relax in the fresh air too; sipping a drink or reading a book whilst keeping an eye on the kids.
However, making sure your kids are safe in the garden is not as simple as just keeping an eye on them. Turn your head for a second and disaster may strike as it often does with young children. It can be a minor disaster like a small boo-boo that needs a little kiss and/or a plaster to make it better, or an injury more extreme that requires a hospital trip.
Taking the following precautions to limit the dangers in your garden is essential for outdoor play.
If you have a swing set, make sure that it is balanced. Too much weight one one part of the bar – whether it’s made of metal or wood—can cause the entire set to tip over, potentially leading to a serious accident. A soft foundation of sand or mulch under the apparatus makes for an excellent landing material that can prevent broken bones and deep cuts. Garden climbing frames should also be laid on a soft surface – as we all know kids can be clumsy and take a tumble from those as well.
If there are thorny bushes growing in your garden, cut those thorns as often is necessary to prevent cuts and scratches. You can tell your kids to stay away from thorny roses, but kids will be kids and not always abide to the ground rules you lay out for them.
If you use pesticides when treating your lawn and other foliage, do not let children outside to play for around 48 hours to prevent them coming into contact with potentially deadly chemicals. This can be an inconvenience for active children who want their outdoor time but you can remedy their boredom by taking them to a public park or other type of amusement area.
Speaking of pests; always be sure to protect your offspring from them. Spray little ones with insect repellent to keep the biting bugs away. Remember to protect their delicate skin with sunblock as well. My kids are so used to the spraying routine that at times they have to remind me to do my job before they go outdoors!
If you have a barbecue grill in your garden and enjoy cooking outside, keep a screen around it to prevent kids from touching the hot grill bars and burning themselves. What looks like a minor burn can often become major and result in infections that need antibiotic treatment. Even cool-to-the-touch BBQ equipment can be dangerous – such could topple over or a child could inadvertently run into it so make sure your griller is stored well out of the way when it is not in use.
While your garden can be a fun haven for your kids during the summer months, all fun may be lost if you don’t ensures that the space is a safe haven as well.
The author of this post, Katrina Coleman, works as an apparatus demonstrator for Climbing Frames UK.