It’s not possible to protect your toddler from every bump and fall in the garden. The RoSPA reports that 110,000 children are injured each year in the garden. So, with spring finally here and summer just around the corner, it’s essential you complete some garden maintenance to keep your little ones save as they head into the garden, for what could be the first time this year.
My daughter will have just turned one when summer hits. Since moving into our house, we haven’t spent much time making-over the garden. I am, however, keen to make it as safe as possible so she can enjoy her first year as a toddler in the great outdoors.
Just as there are simple ways to organize baby stuff in the home, tidying up the garden is just as easy. Items left out from the end of last summer should be put away somewhere safe. Make sure you check for any hidden items buried in overgrown grass too. Be sure to give the patio a thorough sweep and clean up any fallen leaves from the autumn which may be slippery. Our pathway always has moss on it, come the spring. Moss is a trip hazard, especially for little ones who are unsteady on their feet, so, if you’ve got the same problem as we have, remove it before your toddler ventures outside.
Fix broken wall, fences and patios
Broken foundations and fences in the garden should be repaired or replaced to protect your toddler in the garden. A broken planter wall will have sharp edges which will easily cut your little one’s hands. A damaged fence is a safety risk as your child may try to escape through it or injure themselves when brushing past a splintered panel. While, broken or uneven patio slabs pose a tripping risk for little feet that love to run.
Water features may look pretty, but, pools of water are potentially hazardous when you’ve got a toddler. Consider sealing off access to the pond or even removing it altogether. Bird fountains may look tempting to children, but the water and the fountain won’t be the cleanest, so, don’t let your child have access to one. Be sure to keep a close eye on your toddler when the paddling pool comes out and swiftly empty it when not in use.
Protect your toddler by creating a designated safe area
We’ve decided that the best way to protect our toddler in the garden this year is to fence off an area just for her to play in. We’ll be putting her swing, slide and sandpit in there. It means we haven’t got to worry about her attempting to climb up and down the steps that lead to the patio or stop her from wandering behind the shed. Our garden needs a lot of work to truly toddler proof it. However, I’m happy that she’ll have a secure part of the garden to play in this year.
There are so many factors to consider when it comes to tacking action to protect your toddler in the garden. But, if you think like a toddler when you step outside it should help you identify the areas you should work on.