As parents, we’re frequently bombarded with information about how to keep our little ones safe around the home. If you have a toddler roaming around the house you’ll be well versed in baby gates, what to do to keep wires out of the way and thanks to the series of TV adverts running at the moment you should be well aware of the dangers of not keeping washing liquitabs out of reach.
But are you equally savvy when it comes to protecting them when they head out into the yard or garden? This post explores some of the safety issues you may want to consider as summer approaches.
Supervision and security
Little ones always require full supervision outside but they can be quite sneaky when it comes to escape attempts! Some parents find extra peace of mind by fitting patio doors or bi-folding doors that can be locked when not in use. These also provide a good view of bigger children playing out when they’re old enough to venture outdoors unsupervised.
If you have a pond, paddling pool or even a swimming pool, you’re probably already aware of their dangers but have you considered the risks connected to dirt or even plants? Gardening chemicals are often housed in brightly coloured packaging that looks intriguing to children, so be extra vigilant when using and storing these. Soil may also be treated with chemicals and may contain cat or dog faeces, so while making mud pies seems to be top of many toddler’s garden agendas it’s something that should be discouraged as you definitely don’t want them to eat any nasties. It’s good to get kids into the habit of washing their hands when they come back in from play, just in case.
Plants can also be a hazard and while you may be aware of some poisonous plants such as poison ivy there are actually many more around, the Royal Horticultural Society has a good guide on its side outlining how to identify dangerous plants and precautions you may want to put in place to prevent little ones consuming anything they shouldn’t. Speak to little ones as soon as you can about the dangers of eating plants without adult supervision – they won’t immediately get a handle on why they can eat a strawberry but not other berries. It’s also worth remembering that it’s not just the plants themselves that good pose the problem as there is potential for foliage to be coated with chemicals such as weed killer
Tools and toys
Having a child who is interested in gardening is a really lovely thing. There are so many benefits to gardening that it’s an activity parents want to encourage but that does mean being mindful of where little hands may wander. Tools such as spades, forks, trowels and lawnmowers should be stored safely in locked sheds. It’s only natural that little ones will want to have a go themselves though, so why not buy them their own kid safe gardening tools and supervise them playing with their own gardening patch? If you’re not keen on letting them loose on your flowerbed, why not set them up in a sandpit instead? Sandpits are great for summertime but they can harbour germs if not maintained correctly. Always ensure yours is covered adequately so that it’s not contaminated by animal waste or rubbish when not in use. It’s also advisable take toys or tools out at the end of each play session for a clean.
When you’re assessing any risks, outdoors or in, it’s always best to take a toddler eye view of the area. In the garden this might help you identify sticking points like canes or stakes being used to support plants, which could be at just the right height for children to fall on or be within too tempting a distance for them. If there are areas that aren’t as safe for children, consider fencing these off.
Are you looking forward to spending summer days in your yard or garden with your little one(s)? Is your garden all ready for summer or do have a few updates planned? What type of activities do you do together? Do they love to get their hands dirty or prefer to host their own lawn tea parties and picnics?
Please note, this is a sponsored post either written by myself or provided for me. All sponsored posts are carefully selected to appear on my blog if I feel they are of interest to myself and my followers. I hope you find it interesting and useful!