Summer is the perfect time to let your child enjoy playing outside, but there are a few risks. If you're not careful, your child could suffer from sunstroke or heatstroke. If your garden contains hazards like swimming pools or dangerous plants, you'll need to take action to avoid serious injury to your child.
Every garden is different, and it's important to thorougly assess the risks before letting your child outside.
The tips below will be applicable to most homes, so they're a great place to start.
Put up shade sails
Being out in the hot sun is the one of the biggest risks to your child during the summer months. Too much sun exposure could lead to painful, dangerous sunburn, and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions like heatstroke. Using a high factor sun cream, keeping your child covered up with loose clothing, and investing in a sun hat and a pair of sunglasses are all potential solutions. However, there's a simpler way - a shade sail. These large pieces of fabric are suspended between tall metal poles, creating a large, cool, shaded area in your garden. They're popular in schools and nurseries, and work just as well when playing at home.
Fence around pools or ponds
Tragic stories about toddlers drowning in home swimming pools and ponds come around every year, and you don't want to become part of the statistics. Any body of water, no matter how large or small, should be thoroughly fenced in. The best pool fencing is made from strong mesh, making it impossible for children to climb or squeeze through gaps. There's also no risk of injury if your child runs into the fence, and it's pet-safe, too. Ensure gates are always kept locked, and never leave your child unattended outside, even if you think it's safe.
Cut back sharp/dangerous plants
Many common garden plants can be harmful to children, so it's really important to research yours. Lily of the valley, nightshade, snowdrops and foxgloves can all be harmful if ingested. Other plants can irritate the skin, and varieties like nettles and holly have a nasty prickle. You should cut back any sharp plants that your child could run into, and remove or fence off any plants that could be poisonous. Watch out for bushes containing berries, as these can look very appealing to little ones.
Ready to have some summer fun with your kids? Make sure your garden is safe first.