Saturday, 24 June 2017

How to make your garden child proof


A garden is meant to be a relaxing, rejuvenating place. Your own private spot where you can get close to nature, breathe easy and let your thoughts wander. A place where you can watch the fruits of your endeavours literally grow before your eyes, or lean over the fence and chat idly to your neighbour. But it also needs to be a protected environment for your family, especially if your children are very young, and need to be safe.

With kids around, it's not always that easy to maintain a balance between what you would like your garden, and what by necessity it has to be. You know what children are like, they find their way into anything, your tool shed, the pool unsupervised, or just tramp all over your vegetable patch. When they get bored, it may even occur to them to wander further afield, through the gap in the fence. So how do you manage to make your garden particularly safe? 

Rattan Direct explores things you can do to make your garden child proof. From their wide experience, here are some useful tips.

Separate out the areas

There is no need to have a massive lawn bordered by plants, what about making separate areas so that you can meander around, each with a different usage and atmosphere of its own. Try Sectioning off the vegetable patch, and importantly the swimming pool, with suitable fencing. It is a sad fact that many youngsters drown each year sometimes in very shallow water. Any time children are in a pool they need to be under supervision. These days there are many natural looking variations that will harmonise with your garden. Barriers such as hedges may hinder, but not totally prevent invasion, unless they are thorny, and that brings its own troubles, especially with toddlers.

A special area for the children

The children could have their own special space, in which you can be creative in constructing a play area. Concrete may be very useful, but it is not advisable in a play area, as any fall could result in blood being spilt, and the added risk of head injuries. Wood all weather decking would be far more suitable or even tough replaceable artificial grass to save wear. Avoid erecting swings on any hard surface and certainly not near a path. We have all seen those cam videos of accidents on the garden swing; they look funny till it happens to you.

Garden Tools

Sharp tools such as spades, forks and hand trowel need to be safely put away in the garden shed after use, and the door securely locked, even if you are going out later to continue gardening. In the hands of a child’s imagination they can become lethal weapons, and younger ones may try to emulate what they saw you doing earlier in the garden, and dig up all your flowers. Toddlers might also put sharp metal items in their mouths.

The outside world

The only way to prevent escape out of the garden is to make quite sure your fences around the property are impenetrable. This means patching up any gaps, or replacing old fences. Also make sure they are high enough, kids grow up fast. Any gates would also have to be childproof; especially it leads onto a busy road. Secure but easy to use locks should prevent any bad situation happening.

Watch out for these dangers

If you are a keen gardener there may be bottles of herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals, that if ingested could cause serious effects. These dangerous chemicals need to be stored under lock and key, not just on a high shelf, kids just love climbing. If they are out of date, pour them away safely.

Greenhouses are best made with plastic windows, glass is a disaster waiting to happen, especially if your children like playing football or cricket in the garden.

Metal garden furniture, especially if it is old and rusty, could also cause problems. Use natural materials like wood or cane. Hammocks are also popular but make sure they are not old and worn.

If it’s sunny weather remember to smear the darlings in sun cream, and try to get them to wear some sort of headgear. On holidays they will be out there for hours. It makes sense to try and educate them from an early age about things that are hot, sharp or just plain dangerous.

It seems like the garden is a dangerous place for children, but that is not true, it just takes a bit of consideration and planning to make it a haven for the whole family. 

This blog post was written by Rattan Direct, experts in safe and lasting designer lifestyle furniture for your garden.

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