Spending time outdoors as a family is great for everyone involved. But children nowadays only spend around half as much time playing outside as their parents did. Kids should have as much opportunity as possible to connect with nature, explore the great outdoors and get some fresh air. Playing outside is good for their development – even if they do get a bit muddy.
One of the reasons children don’t get to play outside as often as they should be is down to concerns over safety. Naturally, parents are worried about the potential dangers that lurk outside. But in your garden at home there are plenty of things you can do to minimise any risks of injury and create an outdoor haven for your little ones to play in. We’ve picked out some top tips to help you:
1. Secure any routes out
First up, you’ve got to close off any access out of the garden – towards the road, for example. Do a quick perimeter inspection and make sure there are no gaps in your hedge or fence. Children are naturally curious and could easily see something like that as the start of an adventure.
2. Keep tools and chemicals locked away
Just as you would do in the kitchen or bathroom, any chemicals you use in the garden should be securely locked away. The same goes for gardening tools. Unless you’re actively using them, they should be out of the reach of young children. If you’re doing any gardening, it might be worth getting some tools appropriate for children – check out these tool suggestions and tips to encourage kids to get involved in gardening.
3. Secure any water features
If your garden has a water feature or pond, make sure it’s surrounded by a secure barrier that can’t be climbed or pushed over. If you’re in any doubt over the safety of your water feature, it might be best to remove it until your children are older.
4. Find out what plants could be harmful
Babies and child tend to test out new things by putting them in their mouths. In the garden, this could be dangerous. In the process of childproofing your home, you not only need to keep small objects away, but you need to investigate whether any of the plants in your garden could be harmful.
Fortunately, cases of severe poisoning, skin reaction or allergy are relatively rare, but it’s still worth checking out the Royal Horticultural Society’s list of potentially harmful plants as children are at most risk.
5. Remember sun safety
Last but not least, when you’re spending time outdoors as a family – whether it’s in your garden or somewhere else – remember to put some sun cream on everyone to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. If it’s a particularly hot summer’s day, you should avoid the midday sun too.
How have you made your garden safer for little ones? Share your tips and recommendations with us.
Featured image source: https://pixabay.com/en/girls-children-kids-friends-young-462072/
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