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When sunny days are here, we all want to get out in the garden – and that’s doubly true for curious toddlers. Outside is full of exciting colours, sounds and smells for them to explore – but there are also dangers, from uncovered ponds to poisonous plants.
Luckily, a little preparation can make the garden a much safer place for little hands and feet to wander. That means you won’t have to dash up from your deckchair every five minutes to whisk them away from danger.
But remember, even if you’ve thoroughly checked the garden for hazards, you shouldn’t leave children to their own devices. It’s important to always keep a watchful eye on them, no matter how fast they race around.
1. Fence in any ponds and pools
Ponds are a lovely addition to any garden, helping to attract wildlife. But they’re just as fascinating to toddlers, making them a common cause of tragic accidents. Many of them occur when parents or grandparents assume their child is safe, so don’t take any risks.
Make sure young explorers can’t reach the water by covering it with a rigid metal grille, fencing around it (ensuring that it’s at least 1.1m high) or filling it in while they’re young. You can convert it to a sandpit or a flowerbed, for instance.
2. Get to know your plants
If you’re green-fingered, you may already be an expert on all your plants. But many casual gardeners could benefit from brushing up on their knowledge to ensure nothing poisonous is lurking.
It’s a good idea in general to teach little ones not to play with or eat growing plants. Among the most common plants to watch out for that are dangerous to eat are bluebells, daffodils and foxgloves.
They can have very serious effects, so if you’re worried a child might have eaten something poisonous, seek advice from an accident and emergency department and bring a sample of the plant. Don’t panic and don’t try to make them vomit. It might also be worth deciding whether to replace prickly plants such as roses or bougainvillea to avoid tears.
3. Take care with play equipment
Installing a swing or climbing frame is sure to make your garden even more fun for kids. But it’s important to take a bit of care to prevent accidents. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions and place the equipment on soft ground away from walls, fences or hedges.
You can also buy special non-slip, cushioned play surfaces from major toy stores, so little monkeys can scurry over climbing frames or swing as high as they like without worrying about painful falls.
4. Store tools out of reach
After a hard day digging or turning over the flower beds, it can be tempting just to prop your spade or fork against the nearest wall and head right in for a well-earned cup of tea.
But with curious children around, it’s vital to keep any tools safely locked away in the garden shed or somewhere inside. When you’ve got the peace of mind that they won’t come across any sharp or heavy implements, it’s much easier to enjoy watching tots play in the sunshine.
5. Be prepared for messy times
With toddlers able to roam free, there’s one more danger to look out for: muddy knees and grass stains all over the happy adventurers’ clothes.
But Ariel 3in1 Pods can save the day. Keep some handy to pop in the wash with their grubby garb after a hard morning’s play in the garden. Then they’ll be clean and fresh to jump into whatever the afternoon has in store. Just remember to always keep your 3in1 Pods packs locked and stored safely. Keep away from children – learn more here.
How do you keep your garden kid-friendly? Share your tips in the comments box below.