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6 Tips For A Child-Friendly Garden
  • 16 June, 2021

6 Tips For A Child-Friendly Garden

Once we have children we’re suddenly gripped with the idea that danger is lurking around every corner - and we behave accordingly. Child locks on cupboard doors and drawers, corner protectors on tables and furniture to prevent bumped heads, stair gates...the options for in-home safety for our little ones is endless.

But what about outside? You’ve probably not given it as much thought! 

The garden is a great place for kids to burn off some of that energy, explore a bit of nature, and satisfy their curiosity. But, as we know, often that sense of adventure has no limits, and before you know it they’re crying in a thorny bush, getting their fingers stuck in a hole in the fence or an uncovered drain, or poking about in the shed.

At Look Real Lawns we think that the garden should be an extension of your home; an enjoyable and safe environment for everyone - whatever their age. So we’ve put together our top tips for creating a safe garden haven for the youngest members of the family.

1.’Stay In The Garden!’

It might sound obvious, but keeping your garden properly enclosed and secure is vital - both in order to keep strangers out, and the kids in! Children love to explore, and without adequate fencing your kids will be in next door’s garden picking their flowers or chasing their dog around in no time.

For the sake of their safety, your peace of mind, and staying on good terms with the neighbours, make sure you surround your garden with fences that kids can’t get through (or climb over!). Don’t be tempted to use any type of wire or netting - even as a temporary barrier - it’s easy for kids and wildlife to get tangled (or worse), and avoid evergreens/hedges. Sure, they look good eventually, but it’ll be a long while before they provide thick enough coverage to keep anyone, or anything, in or out of your garden. 

Good quality fencing, installed by professionals (such as ourselves!) is the best way to ensure that your children are safe and secure within their own garden, and don’t forget to child-proof the gates with good locking mechanisms.

2.’Take That Out Of Your Mouth!’

It’s a universal truth that kids will put anything in their mouths - and that will include anything they find in the garden; berries, mushrooms, maybe a particularly tasty looking pebble….

If you have very young children, be aware that any areas in the garden that contain gravel, bark, slate etc, will look like a tempting buffet, and pose a choking hazard. Toddlers are also partial to pick a flower or two, and likely that will go straight in the mouth as well! 

Keep toxic plants such as Lily of the valley and peonies out of your garden, and the same goes for any herbicides or pesticides you might have, which are best kept locked away in the shed, away from curious little hands!

3.’Stay Away From The Water!’

Children should never be left unsupervised around bodies of water. The second biggest cause of accidental death for those between the ages of 5 and 24 is drowning, so a garden with a swimming pool or a pond can be a big risk if you have small children running around.

We’re not suggesting you fill in pools or ponds if you have them (although of course that’s an option), but with a little work and planning you can make them much safer. Fences, covers and alarms are all ways that you can continue to enjoy fun and educational water features such as ponds and pools.

Remember that even small bodies of water can be dangerous - especially for very young children, so be sure to empty paddling pools after use and store them away, as well as any buckets or containers that could collect water if it rained.

If you want a garden water feature, but have been putting it off until the children are older, there are plenty of options available that pose much less of a risk than your classic pond, such as wall fountains and water blades. Read our blog, ‘Which Types Of Water Feature’ to find out more about child-safe options https://www.lookreallawns.co.uk/blog/which-types-of-water-feature

4.’Stay In The Shade!’

On a hot summer’s day, a completely open space can get too hot - especially for the little ones. Creating some shade in the garden where children can play couldn’t be easier, and there are plenty of options. 

Trees are a natural way to offer shade, or you could use a canopy, large parasol or pagoda. Putting a sand pit, trampoline or other play equipment in a shady spot will encourage children to stay out of the sun, and a covered area is also a great way for kids to be able to get out and enjoy some fresh air on a rainy day.

5. ‘Careful - They Sting!’

Pests like wasps can ruin the kids’ fun if they get stung, and although you can’t prevent them from entering your garden altogether, there are some steps you can take to ensure that encounters with these winged beasties are kept to a minimum!

If you happen to have overhanging fruit trees, be sure to pick up any fallen fruit that can attract wasps, and remove any wasps nests (we recommend speaking to a professional pest control expert rather than attempting it yourself!). 

Also, if the children are eating or drinking outside, make sure you clear away any uneaten food or drink when they’re finished. Sweet treats and melting ice lollies are a magnet for wasps, so wash down any areas where sugary foods or liquids have been spilled straight away. 

Of course, wasps aren’t the only pests that could be waiting to enjoy your garden! Neighbourhood cats might use your garden as a toilet (particularly if you don’t have a cat of your own - cats are territorial and are unlikely to use their own garden as a litter tray, and their presence will most probably deter other cats from doing so), so remember to keep any sand pits or boxes covered when not in use, especially at night. 

Slugs are another common garden pest that, as well as feasting on your plants, might enjoy leaving their slimy trails over your children’s toys! Bring smaller toys inside when not being used if possible, and wash larger toys down before they’re played with if they’ve been left out overnight and bear the tell-tale signs of slugs having a good old explore!

6. Stay Away From That, It’s Heavy!

Garden ornaments, birdbaths and bird tables make a charming addition to any garden - but if you have small children running around they could be a hazard if not properly secure. 

Make sure that there aren’t any garden ornaments in areas where children are likely to trip and fall over them, and that there isn’t anything decorative hanging at head height!

Kids are likely to try and climb or hang off of anything that looks like it might support their weight (and anything that won’t for that matter!) so check things like stone walls for loose masonry and that fairy lights etc are strung high enough that they are out of reach of inquisitive hands!

With a little planning and common sense, even very small children can enjoy their garden as safely as possible, so take the time to implement proper precautions so that you and the whole family can have some stress-free fun in the sun! 

If you want to improve the child-safety of your garden by installing an artificial lawn, updating your fencing, or adding a more kid-friendly water feature, Look Real Lawns have got it covered. You can speak to a member of our expert team by calling us on 07748 350 530