It’s spring, and your children or grandchildren are playing in the garden. They love it out there, and you want them to continue to enjoy themselves. However, like other home environments, your garden can contain hidden hazards. How can you make your garden child-safe this spring?
Prune Your Trees
Well-maintained trees will help children stay safe in the garden all year round. After a storm, take a look into the tree canopy and make sure that there are no dangling branches that could fall abruptly during the next wind. Remove these branches and other branches that look like they’re old and ready to fall.
Be Aware of What You Plant
Many plants are beautiful, and many are toxic as well. This doesn’t matter if you just have adults visiting your garden. They’re not likely to eat the foliage. However, if you have small children visiting the garden, it’s best to err on the side of nontoxic plants. Avoid plants such as foxglove, yew, lily of the valley, and even common bulbs such as iris and daffodil. Even some common edible plants have poisonous parts, such as the leaves of potato and rhubarb. Educate children about what’s safe and unsafe to eat in the garden, and focus on edible plants if you have very small children who are in the garden often and may not be supervised.
Look to Low-Pesticide Solutions
When you have children playing in your garden, you want to make sure that the yard is as chemical-free as possible. Children’s smaller bodies are very sensitive to chemicals, and small children don’t necessarily realize that fertilizers or pesticides that you place into the garden are toxic. If you use fertilizers or pesticides, keep them in a locked area when they are not in use.
Watch Your Tools
It’s exciting to see a child learn how to use a saw for the first time or enjoy wielding a hammer to build a fence with her grandfather. However, you need to maintain control over your tools as well. Keep power tools in a locked area, and check sheds to ensure that they close properly.
Repair Fences and Gates
Before you send the children out to play in the spring, assess the damage from the previous winter. Does the gate’s latch slip off? Does the fence have a hole where boards have fallen? Repair fences and gates so that you can ensure that small children stay in the garden.
Be Water Safe
Water safety is something to consider, whether you have a rain barrel or a pond. Make sure that children are supervised around ponds and that larger ponds have fencing or other controls to prevent children from going into the pond unsupervised. Watch for unintentional wet areas in the grass or under clogged gutters. If you find that there are muddy spots or unintended ponds forming, check your home and garden drainage systems to avoid a slippery, wet, and potentially hazardous mess.
Keep your home and garden safe and well-maintained this summer. Whether you’re trying to fix your clogged gutters or improve your roofing, turn to Harry Helmet. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.