Make your garden grandchild-friendly

Make your garden grandchild-friendly

Little adventurers love to get to know the natural world, but it can be a full-time job to keep them away from hidden dangers. Here’s how to create a safer space they can explore.

Little adventurers love to get to know the natural world, but it can be a full-time job to keep them away from hidden dangers. Here’s how to create a safer space they can explore.

When sunny days are here, we all want to get out in the garden. That goes double for any curious little toddlers you might have in the family. Outside is full of exciting colours, sounds and smells for them to explore – but there are also dangers, from uncovered ponds to poisonous plants.

Luckily a little preparation can make the garden a much safer place for little hands and feet to wander. That means you won’t have to dash up from your deckchair every five minutes to whisk them away from danger.

But remember, even if you’ve thoroughly checked the garden for hazards, you shouldn’t leave children to their own devices. Even if you’re just sitting with a cup of tea, it’s important to always keep a watchful eye out for them.

Fence in any ponds and pools

Ponds are a lovely addition to any garden, helping to attract wildlife. But they’re just as fascinating to toddlers, making them common cause of tragic accidents. Many of them occur when parents or grandparents assume their child is safe, so don’t take any risks.

Make sure young explorers can’t reach the water by covering it with a rigid metal grille, fencing around it (ensuring that it’s at least 1.1m high) or filling it in while they’re young. You can convert it to a sandpit or a flowerbed, for instance.

Get to know your plants

Green-fingered grandparents may already be experts on all their plants, but many casual gardeners could benefit from brushing up their knowledge to ensure nothing poisonous is lurking.

It’s a good idea in general to teach little ones not to play with or eat growing plants. Among the most common plants to watch out for that are dangerous if they’re eaten are bluebells, daffodils and foxgloves.

They can have very serious effects, so if you’re worried a child might have eaten something poisonous, seek advice from a hospital accident and emergency department and bring a sample of the plant. Don’t panic and don’t try to make them vomit. It might also be worth deciding whether to replace prickly plants such as roses or bougainvillea to avoid tears.

Keep the play equipment in good repair

Installing a swing or a climbing frame is a great way of making your garden even more fun for the grandchildren. But it’s important to take a bit of care to prevent accidents.

Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions and place the equipment on soft ground away from walls, fences or hedges.

You can also buy special non-slip, cushioned play surfaces from major toy stores, so little monkeys can scurry over climbing frames or swing as high as they like without worrying about painful falls.

Hide the garden tools

After a hard day digging or turning over the flower beds, it can be tempting just to prop your spade or fork against the nearest wall and head right in for a well-earned cup of tea.

But with curious children around, it’s vital to keep any tools safely locked away in the garden shed or somewhere inside. When you’ve got the peace of mind that they won’t come across any sharp or heavy implements, it’s much easier to enjoy watching tots play in the sunshine.

Give mum and dad a helping hand

With toddlers able to roam free, there’s one more danger to look out for: muddy knees and grass stains all over the happy adventurers’ clothes.

You can save the day by keeping some Ariel 3in1 Pods  ready to pop their clothes in the wash after a muddy morning in the garden. So when it’s time to go home, they’ll already look fresh and clean. Just remember to always keep your 3in1 Pods packs locked and stored away from children. Keep away from children. Learn more here.

How do you keep the grandkids safe when they’re visiting? Share your tips in the comments box below.

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Great tips

evelina 18/07/2017

Try have the kids join in the garden work you'll be surprised how much help they can be .

Safety

Dawn 13/07/2017

Make sure you have railings down any steps and ensure the adults don't have too much alcohol!

Let them play

Audrey 05/07/2017

Give the kids their own little patch of land to destroy as they see fit. Its builds responsibility and curiosity. Let them use their hands and dirty their clothes. With Aerial you know they will be clean as a whistle for the next adventure.

safe gardens

jacinta 27/06/2017

keep your grandchildren safe in the garden by giving them toys to play with. I give my grandchild his small water play table as they love playing with water and its such a small amount of water its safe we still stay watching them and Ariel will get the clothes clean afterwards

Safety

fiona 27/06/2017

Summer is here. It can come with lots of risks also. Be aware of water , always keep your eyes on children when playing in water.

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