How to Baby-proof your Garden
Transforming your backyard into a playground is a great way to spend time with your little one. However, toddlers can get a bit too curious and end up accidentally hurting themselves in the process.
Skip the Band-Aids and focus on smiles by following these helpful tips on baby-proofing your garden. With a little work, you can make your backyard the ideal outdoor retreat for you and baby.
Add a Play Area
Babies and toddlers are curious explorers. They can work their way into the most unexpected places. As a parent, it can be stressful maintaining your backyard and worrying about your child's safety. Adding a playpen can eliminate unnecessary anxiety by confining your baby in a safe play space that gives them plenty of fresh air and room to play while you tend to your garden or just sit back and relax.
Clearing the area
While a playpen is a sure-fire way to baby proof an area, your child will still need to stretch their legs. So before letting them run wild, make sure to clear out all the potential hazards that could injure your little munchkin.
Things to watch out for include:
Hoses: Garden hoses can cause your rambunctious toddler to trip or a crawling baby to get run off water into their mouth. Secure your hose by getting a proper hose reel or cart from your local hardware store.
Gardening tools: Most garden tools are very sharp and can severely injure your child. These tools include hand forks, garden hoes, rakes, pruners, shears, etc. Keep them in a locked shed or sealed storage bin to prevent accidents. Proper storage will also make the tools last longer and prevent rust and weather damage.
Furniture: Apply baby-safety padding to rigid edges on patio furniture to avoid unnecessary boo-boos. Babies will put just about anything in their mouths, so make sure your outdoor furniture is durable and resistant to snapping and tearing.
Everyone knows about the dangers on an unattended pool, but how many people consider a pool cover dangerous? Crawling babies and toddlers alike can become trapped underneath and suffocate. Always store your pool cover in a safe place where your children cannot reach.
Block Garden Ponds
Never underestimate your baby. As soon as they're mobile, babies can disappear like magicians. One minute they're playing happily in the grass and the next, they're making a beeline for your pond. Spare yourself the flood of fear that comes from just thinking about the potential of your child toppling into an open body of water by adding gates or other barriers to ponds.
If you have any barrels or other water displays that could be pulled over, make sure to block those off as well.
Toxic Plants and Shrubbery
Although they are pretty to look at, many plants, flowers and bushes are toxic if ingested. Keep your child's play area away from potentially poisonous foliage.
Safety Through the Years
Above all else, supervision is the best way to prevent accidents from happening. As your child grows, the backyard garden can become an oasis for playtime and bonding. Make sure that you always take precaution when installing new furniture, playsets, or anything that could pose a threat to your child's safety.