Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sponsored post - Toddler safety in the garden

One thing that you quickly learn about toddlers is that they have very little sense of danger. They are so desperate to explore the world around them that as soon as they can move about independently they are into everything, in particular climbing into and onto whatever they can find. I love my children to spend time outdoors, but the garden presents a whole new set of hazards. Here are some things to watch out for when children are playing in the garden:

  • Make sure that the boundaries of your property are secure so that children cannot leave the garden and venture onto main roads or into neighbour's gardens. For example, check that gates are securely locked and that there are no gaps in hedges.

  • Do a regular general safety check around the garden - check for sharp edges on walls, rusty and exposed nails, broken pottery or glass, uneven or loose steps, play equipment close to hard surfaces.

  • Young children will put everything into their mouths. Avoid using small stones as a garden feature, and if allowing children to dig in flowerbeds do a quick check first for any animal faeces that may have been deposited there. Also look out for and remove hazardous plants like stinging nettles, and make sure that there are no poisonous plants in your garden.

  • Children can drown in just a few centimetres of water. You should never leave children unsupervised near water. If you have a pond, consider filling it in while children or small, or install a cover or secure fence. Empty and store paddling pools after use, and be aware of empty containers that may fill with water when it rains. Remember to be extra vigilant when visiting other people's houses or unfamiliar parks and other open spaces, and if you have a pond make sure that you warn visitors to your home.

  • If you have garden play equipment like swings or a trampoline, make sure that it is assembled correctly and tethered securely to the ground where appropriate. Inspect it regularly for signs of damage, which may make it unsafe and liable to cause serious injury. Don't allow children to play on tall equipment unsupervised as there is a high risk of falling.

  • Consider grassing over any areas of patio or other hard surface. Make sure that your children wear helmets when using bicycles, scooters or trikes to prevent head injuries.

Toddler safety in the garden

You can find some more really useful safety tips for the garden here.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Irwin Mitchell.

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