Now the warmer weather is here - well for today anyway! I can’t get over how changeable things are at the moment. If, like me, you have a little toddler roaming in your garden this Spring then here are some ways to baby proof it and to be sure you have a child-friendly garden!
- Designate a certain area for play
Making a special place in your garden for little ones to play not only contains some of the mess to one area but it also makes it their special place. You could add a few special toys depending on your little one's age. Maybe a sandpit, mud kitchen or mini teepee. A slide is always a hit for children of all ages as well as a tunnel.
Make sure the area you choose is easily visible so you have a clear view of what your toddler is up to when they are playing.
- Watch out for hard surfaces
Many gardens will have steps, walls or patios and even wooden decking which can be a trip or fall hazard for little ones. If you have steep steps then it’s well worth adding a gate to prevent your little one falling down or climbing up without you seeing. If a large chunk of your garden is taken up by a patio then adding a cushioned mat, outdoor rug or big blanket will give your little one something softer to play or land on.
- Check your gates and fences
Little ones love discovering the unknown so any open gate or gap in the hedge is a prime spot for them to head towards! Although I’m sure you are well aware of these dangers make sure you check before letting your little one adventure on their own. It’s a good idea to check for exposed nail in fences too or sharp wire.
- Check what plants you have
There are plenty of plants that are grown in our gardens that can be harmful to little ones especially if they are eaten. I won’t out a list of them here as it is quite lengthy but here’s a link to the woodland trust website if you’d like to check them out here
If you do have poisonous plants then it's’ a good idea to move them so they are a good distance from where your little one will play, or get rid of them all together.
- Sand play
If you have a sandpit then it’s a good idea to keep it covered when it’s not in use, otherwise local neighbourhood animals might use it as their bathroom! If you haven't got a sandpit and are thinking of buying one then there are heaps of good ones out there with lids. If you haven’t really got the space then check out this sandpit tent hack - it’s genius!
- Look out for choking hazards
Although I am sure you are on high alert for this anyway there are lots of little things in the garden that you might not consider as a hazard which could be, like pebbles and stones, berries fallen from trees and even nuts and conkers in the autumn.
- Water safety
Watch your toddler particularly closely if they're playing in a paddling pool, or near water. Little ones can drown silently in just a few centimetres of water. If you have a pond, fence it off or cover it securely.
The simplest way to keep them safe is to be sure you never leave your young child unsupervised in the garden, there should always be at least one trusted adult close by to keep an eye on them. They’re quick and prone to doing the unexpected!!
Have an amazing Summer!