7 Important Garden Safety Tips for Children and Grandchildren

These garden safety tips will help keep little ones out of harm’s way when they’re in your backyard. Some of these tips are common sense. Others, you might otherwise overlook. All of them are important!

When you follow these tips below, you can make sure your backyard is as safe as possible for the littles you love – whether they are your children, grandchildren, or family friends’ kids.  

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn important garden safety tips for your backyard, including: 

Creating A Child-Friendly Garden

We all know that toddlers and young children need a lot of supervision. They love to explore, most have no sense of danger, and they seem to get around quicker than British racing driver Lewis Hamilton! 

It’s important to encourage children to enjoy the outdoors (after all, fresh air tires them out!), but you must take the steps to ensure your garden is toddler-proof. This is especially true if it’s been a while since your own kids were small. 

So in this post, you’ll discover (or re-discover) some important steps to make sure your garden is child safe, and how to avoid accidents in the garden.

1. Mind the Barbecue

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that barbecues are hot, and children should stay away from them.

However, when you have friends and family around, it can be a lot more difficult to keep a watchful eye on the little one. Yes, you may have more eyes on them, so to speak, but with everyone wrapped up in conversation and cooking, it is a lot easier for your little one to get his or her hands on things they shouldn’t. 

So you’ll want to make sure someone is standing by the barbecue at all times so that your child doesn’t get too close to the flames.

Related to minding the barbecue, you’ll also want to keep all hazardous cutleries out of the way. As soon as you or the grill-master finish using the grill utensils and knives, make sure they go somewhere safe. That means, not merely on the side of the barbecue. They need to be well out of reach from the little one(s).

It is also a good idea to use paper plates and plastic glasses, too. Not only does that limit the chance of a smashed dish scattering shards all over the patio, it makes for easier clean-up. (Just make sure you recycle to be an eco-conscious homeowner.)

2. Be Water Smart

You also need to be water smart when toddler-proofing your garden. There are a number of ways you can do this. 

Swimming pools can be a great source of fun for young children. They also present great risk.

That’s why if your backyard has an in-ground or aboveground swimming pool, you’ll want to make sure that it’s as secure as possible. Take every child-safety precaution, which means you gate the pool entrance, have a locked fence, remove ladders when not in use, and always supervise the children when they are outdoors and/or swimming. Stock up with safety vests and arm bands, too.

Beyond a swimming pool, even smaller water sources can be a safety hazard for young children. 

So don’t leave an empty paddling pool outside. Unattended, they can be dangerous. This means you need to be vigilant about emptying children’s pools, as well as any buckets that may fill with rainwater. Not only will this help keep small children safe in your backyard, but it reduces the chance of mosquito larvae developing in standing water. 

Finally, make sure you cover any water ponds with netting or erect a fence. If you’re not particularly attached to your pond, why not turn it into a sandpit?

3. Put the Tools Away

Another way to ensure that your garden is safe for toddlers and young children is to ensure that you put all your tools away. That includes rakes, pruners, loppers, shovels, and other tools that might seem harmless to an adult but to a child, become gardening safety hazards.

A stray power tool is the most dangerous play toy imaginable. After all, we all know that children love nothing more than imitating adults. Power tools need to be unplugged and put away high on a shelf. 

To satisfy their curiosity, you can buy child-friendly gardening tools and imitation power equipment so they aren’t tempted to take yours. You want to encourage a love of gardening, but in a safe, supervised way.

So, make sure all of your tools are out of reach for a more child-safe garden.

4. Protect Against Falls and Trips

If you have any type of garden toy that needs assembling, such as a slide, swing, or climbing equipment, make sure you assembled according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. And then thoroughly clean up any packaging and tools.

Wrap up any garden hoses that are lying around—they are easy to trip over.

You should also consider replacing gravel with a solid surface. When you invest in a child-friendly play surface, you lower the risk of a dangerous slip, trip, or fall. Children also have a tendency to insert small objects into their nose, ears, and mouth, so gravel and pea stone can present a real safety issue.

For this reason, you’ll also want to replace paving as soon as you notice any cracks.  

Finally, never lean any equipment or play structures against a large bush, fence or wall. They can easily topple over and put your little one in harm’s way. 

5. Secure Fences and Gates

It is a good idea to make sure you invest in a secure gate and fence in your backyard. You can check out backyard decor tips to tie in your fence with the style of your garden. 

You’ll also want to seal any gaps in shrubbery if your garden is hedged, especially if your yard is near to the road. You can use a low-level trellis or chicken wire to seal off any exposed areas if your hedge does not touch the ground.

Make sure any landscape walls are secure and your gate is always locked. The latter is self-explanatory, but if you have an old wall, it could easily crumble away. This not only gives children a route out of your garden, but it can be very dangerous as well.

Remember, children are very adventurous, and they will almost certainly try to escape at some point. So be prepared!

6. Lock the Garage and Shed

Kids love hiding spaces, and that puts your garage and shed on their radar. Unfortunately, that’s where many homeowners and gardeners store dangerous chemicals, equipment, and tools. 

So, the best way to keep little ones safe from the dangers lurking within these areas is to lock your garage and shed. 

Instead, you can get them a children’s playhouse where they can safely spend time “hiding” from you.

7. Remove Toxic Plants

It’s great to have a beautifully landscaped, fenced in backyard for little children to play in. For many home gardeners, it’s their pride and joy — and such a treat for others to enjoy it as much as they do.

That said, selecting plants for your garden needs to be more judicious when it will be occupied by children. You’ll want to avoid or remove any toxic plants that can be hazardous to children.

This includes (but is not limited to) these poisonous garden plants:

  • Angel’s Trumpets (Brugmansia)
  • English Yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea)
  • Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
  • Larkspur (Delphinium Consolida)
  • Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria Majalis)
  • Monkshood (Aconitum or Aconit)
  • Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
  • Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Rhubarb – leaves only (Rheum rhabarbarum)
  • Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

As pretty as many of these garden favorites may be, it’s just not worth the risk to grow them when there are children near your garden. Instead, plant safe plants for kids, like Sunflowers, Sedum ‘Autumn Fire,’ Allium, Shasta Daisies, Lambs Ear, Nasturtium, and others.

Related Article: Make sure your succulent house plants aren’t toxic.

Final Thoughts on Garden Safety Tips for Children

If you follow the advice above, you can ensure that your garden is properly toddler-proof to the best of your ability. But that doesn’t relieve you of the need to supervise them. After all, we all know that accidents can happen at any moment, especially with children. However, you will have certainly gone a long way to avoiding some common dangers, and that will give you some peace of mind when your child wants to play outside. 

If you are not comfortable and you are still concerned about your child’s safety when gardening, let them try spray-and-grow mushroom kits instead. These are perfect for gardening beginners and kids as they are easy to set up and maintain.

It’s a wonderful gift to spend time with your grandchildren. In fact, you might even want to read this post about vacationing with your grandchildren next, so you can create unforgettable memories.

Photo credits: Feature – Kelly Sikkema (Unsplash), all others courtesy of Canva Pro.

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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