Making a garden safe for children

Having a garden attached to a property is a something to be appreciated when you have children as it is a safe space for them to be able to play in and parents can feel that they know where their children are. It is however a sensible idea to take a look at the garden every now and again to check that it is the safe place that you want it to be and that there are not unseen hazards that may have been overlooked.

The first thing to check is that the perimeter of the garden is secure. Fencing is obviously a good choice rather than hedging as long as the fencing is in good repair and high enough so that either a child could not climb over or someone could enter the garden without you knowing. Gates leading into the garden should be fitted with bolts and padlocks for additional security.

Once you are confident that the perimeter of the garden is secure the next thing to look at is whether there are any hazards in the garden itself. Any play equipment in the garden should be regularly checked to ensure it is in good working order and that there are no broken parts on which a child could get injured. Lots of children have broken bones falling from trampolines without safety netting around them and so it is important to make sure the play equipment is installed correctly.

If you have recently moved into a new property, it is wise to look carefully at the plants that are in the garden to check that there are no poisonous plants there for instance the laburnum tree has beautiful yellow hanging flowers but every part of it is highly toxic and should be removed if possible. Similarly, foxgloves look wonderful in a garden flower bed but are poisonous and are a plant that should be avoided in any garden where children are playing.

It goes without saying that probably the most dangerous thing for children in any garden is a pond or water feature and so it is essential that either the pond is covered with strong netting which would prevent a child falling in or ideally that any pond is filled in unless the children are of an age where having a pond would not present a problem. Even smaller water features could pose a risk of drowning to young children so if they are present precautions should be taken to make sure they are safe.