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  • How to Childproof your Garden

    Spring is in the air and it's time to start enjoying the garden more. Our humble garden is a place you can enjoy and relax and try to forget what is happening in the world. It's a place your little ones can enjoy running around and letting off some steam from being indoors. Before you let your young ones out to explore, spend some time to childproof your garden, giving you peace of mind that they will that little bit safer.

    You should carry out regular checks around your garden all year round regardless of you having children or not. Carrying out regular checks will help you spot areas in need of repair quicker and will also help prevent higher repair bills when they go unnoticed.

    Keep Your Garden Clear

    Before you open the doors and let children play out in the garden, spend some time going around and checking for any obvious safety hazards. Check for anything that is not supposed to be there and might have found its way into the garden over the winter. It's surprising what can find its way in to your garden.  

    Check for insects that might have built up a nest, along with any items that might have flown into the garden like plastic bags, rubbish etc. If you can't remove any nests, it's best to let your children know of the dangers of that area and get someone in to help as soon as you can.  

    If you have pets that use the garden on a daily basis, make sure you commit to regularly cleaning up after them. Doing this will prevent children from running in to the house after stepping into something you haven't picked up yet.

    Prepare Your Garden for Spring

    Our post on preparing your garden for spring goes into more detail on this but taking time to do this will help create a more enjoyable space for you to enjoy. For example, repairing and seeding your lawn will be much nicer once summertime arrives.

    Carry out maintenance and repairs on your tools before getting to work on your garden. You'll need your tools in good working order when you get to work on the garden and any general repairs of areas that you might not have thought about.

    A small amount of time each week will lead to more enjoyment of the garden when the sun is out. The last thing you want to be going is a full days hard work repairing the garden before you can enjoy the sunshine

    Lock Access to Sheds and Garage Areas

    Your garden tools are sharp and can be hazardous to young children that like to explore, so when you are not using the tools, keeping them inside a locked shed. Keeping your tools in a locked shed or garage will not only keep them safe from the weather but also reduce the risk of our tiny people being injured in the garden while playing.

    Keep Chemicals in a Locked Cabinet

    Inside your shed or garage area, keep any chemicals inside another locked cabinet. Plant food and lawn care is good for the garden, but you don't want tiny hands to be put at risk from being able to reach chemicals that you use to take care of your garden. At a minimum they should be kept out of reach, to minimise any risk.

    Create a Children's Garden

    Gardening isn't just about creating no go areas for children. Take some time to encourage your children to help when you are gardening too. Seeing them dig up a worm and getting little muddy hands can encourage them to help you when you are gardening.

    You can even designate a specific area of the garden to be their own space to grow something. Planting simple and easy to grow flowers like sunflowers or wildflowers will be fun for them to watch grow. Maybe grow some strawberries, which they can later pick with you and eat, but let them know they must always check with you before eating anything from the garden.

    Childproof Your Garden Gates

    Is your garden gate childproof? Adding something as simple as a catch means that is that little more difficult for young ones to open and stop them from getting out. Also putting them out of reach where possible will help with stopping them from getting outside the safety of the garden easily. Often garden gates can be neglected but spending a few minutes to adjust or fit a bolt or catch correctly is all it takes.

    Avoid Toxic Plants

    One of the important steps you can take to childproof your garden is to spend some time to get to know the plants that are growing in your garden. Did you know that some of the most common plants we see can cause rashes and may even be more fatal. This post from the BBC goes in to more detail, but toxic plants include; Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Monkshood (Aconitum napellus), Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), and Winter cherry (Solanum Capsicastrum).

    Also be sure to remove any fallen fruit from trees, as the sweetness can attract wasps or other larger pests into the garden.

    Protect Hazzard Areas: Ponds and Pools

    Toddlers can move surprisingly fast, turn your back and zoom, they are off exploring. While ponds are a nice feature and can encourage some amazing wildlife into the garden, they are big hazard in a garden when it comes to small children. If you want to keep your pond, you can either fence off the area to prevent children from entering or change the use of this area by filling it in and planting something new there.

    If you have a pool (even a paddling pool), children should also be supervised at all times, so you can be there to help if they slip and get in to trouble. You should always empty paddling pools in the evening, as this will prevent wild animals from entering the garden and polluting the water.

    Add a Lawn Area

    Yes, you will have to get yourself a lawnmower and mow the lawn etc, but having a lawn area is much nicer for children to play on. A lawn is also slightly softer if they do slip, trip or fall, they are less likely to hurt themselves. So when you childproof your garden, consider removing concrete slab areas and laying down some turf to help prevent scuffs and scrapes that happen on concreate. Let's be honest, grass also looks much nicer than concrete too.

    Another option is to lay artificial grass in your garden. Once fitted, you will have no worries of maintaining it and your children won’t get dirty! Post a Job & get free quotes for artificial grass.

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    Check Fences are Childproof

    Are your fences in a good state of repair? Check each fence panel and carry out any repairs needed. Once you have carried out any repairs to your fence, ask yourself when was the last time you treated your fence? Giving a wooden fence a coat of wood stain or oil will give your fence added weatherproofing. This will also help the wood from drying out too much and becoming warped, which can lead to panels being damaged easily.

    Most of all, enjoy your garden this summer.

    Last updated by MyJobQuote on 6th April 2020.

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