Gardening is a useful and relaxing practice that most people enjoy doing. Not only is it fun and creative pastime activity, but it is also very educational for kids, so make sure you include your children and teach them about gardening as well. By joining you in nurturing and growing plants or simply enjoying the beautiful outdoors they are more connected to nature, happier and healthier. However, gardens are also places where kids can get injured. Still, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t let your kids experience the joy of spending time in a garden. Here are some precautionary measures you can take.
Examine the soil
The first thing you should do before you even consider having a garden is examine the soil, for the sake of your kids’ health and your own. For example, some soils were exposed to industrial contamination and they could contain harmful chemicals that can endanger your kids directly or through food.
Choose a safe water source
Irrigation is necessary for all gardens, regardless of the plants you plan to grow, but some water sources might be more dangerous than others. For example, wells need to be tested regularly for bacteria and other contaminants. They can also be risky for kids who love running around the garden, so you should make sure the well is always covered to prevent kids from falling inside. Running water provided by your municipality is usually safe, but you should also test it, just in case.
There are a few things you need to consider if you want to make your garden child-friendly:
- Laying a turf: Regardless of the size and the purpose of your garden, you should have at least a small lawn for kids to play safely.
- Choosing the plants: There are some gardening plants that are dangerous for kids. Avoid potentially poisonous plants, such as Oleander and Castor Bean. Roses with sharp and strong thorns are also not the safest choice.
Make the trees safe
Trees have always been kids’ favorite retreat and an endless source of fun activities outside in nature. Because kids will be kids, they will always want to climb the trees or insist on putting a swing on it. However, not all trees are good trees, and if you are dealing with white cedar tree (poisonous fruit) or a rotten tree with easily breakable branches, consider opting for tree removal services, and planting another, safer kind.
Store the tools
Power tools and other gardening tools present a major hazard for the kids. That’s why they need to be stored in the garage out of the reach of small kids or in a shed that can be locked. The access to electricity for power tools should also be child-proofed with outlet covers.
Be careful with chemicals
Like tools, chemicals you are using, such as insect and weed killers, should be stored somewhere where kids cannot reach them. Closed, locked shelves in your garage or a shed are good options. Of course, we suggest minimizing the use of chemicals and opting for more natural ways of maintaining your garden.
Finally, the best way to keep your kids safe in your garden is to be around them, so that they are always under adult supervision. This supervision doesn’t mean you should be passively observing your children in the garden, rather you should try to educate them about the appropriate behavior in the garden and slowly introduce them into the world of gardening by allowing them to help you.
So, whether you are starting your garden from scratch or just want to overhaul your old garden to make it kid-friendly, these tips should help you succeed in it.
Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. Proud father of lovely girl and little boy. In his spare time, Will enjoys decorating his backyard. On free weekends, Will is visiting his parents in the countryside and helping them with their beautiful big garden and orchard. He is also a regular contributor to SmoothDecorator website.