Creating a safe garden for children

April 19, 2019

In our last blog we talked about ways you can get kids into gardening…but, with use of heavy machinery in most gardens and even dangerous looking rose bushes, sometimes you may think the garden might not be the safest place for a child…

But, by identifying a few hazards, it is easy to make your garden a child safety zone.

The basics of achieving a child friendly garden

• If you have poisonous plants in the garden, teach children which plants are not to be touched.

• Be mindful of certain plant characteristics like thorns.

• Place any climbing frames or playground equipment away from fences, shrubs and walls.

• Remove sharp objects and keep pathways smooth and clear.

Safe and toxic plants

If you know that your garden contains toxic plants, it is important that you make yourself familiar with how dangerous they are. If you are worried and have children, then ideally, you’d be better off with nontoxic plants and vegetables in your garden.

Many avid gardeners simply give up on their dream garden once children arrive; however, with a bit of care, as well as carefully chosen plants, this is not necessary.

There are many wonderful, nontoxic choices for your garden. Some nontoxic plants you can safely have include:

• Roses

• Bamboo

• Begonias

• Daisies

• Honeysuckle

• Lilacs

• Magnolias

• Marigolds

• Petunias

• Violets

And, make sure to stay away from toxic varieties such as;

• Azalea

• Caladium

• Ivy

• Foxglove

• Iris

• Oleander

• Primrose

• Tulip

• Wisteria

If you’re really not sure, it’s always a good idea to get an expert (like the CJ’s team) to check out the different species of plant, trees and flowers you have to ensure that there is no poison ivy hiding in your garden!

Gardening supplies

Plant food, fertilizers and pesticides can also be dangerous. Be sure to keep all of these types of gardening supplies in a high cabinet, out of the reach of children.

When not in use, keep heavy duty and sharp garden tools locked away and out of reach. When garden tools like mowers are in use, be sure to set boundaries for children that are in the garden.

Safe walkways and steps

If you're going to have steps in your garden, then make sure they are wide and easy for children to walk up and down.

Keep pathways smooth and clear.

Check your garden boundaries to eliminate gaps that small children can crawl under or squeeze through and potentially get hurt.

When it comes to climbing trees, ban children from any trees that are too high. You don't want them falling out of very high trees.

In a nutshell, the best way to teach children about safety in the garden is to simply include them in gardening related activities.

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