Garden Safety for Toddlers
My family and I spent a fair amount of time in our backyard this weekend, gardening and playing on the play-structure. As my husband and I were travelling back and forth to our garage for supplies it struck me just how unsafe it was for my children to be hanging around. Everywhere I looked I saw child-dangers – lawn mower, pruners, rakes, weed-wacker… any of these tools can cause significant injury.
Always pay attention to sun safety while outdoors.
Yes, I know I am an emergency doctor and see danger everywhere. But kids really do sustain injuries every day from inadvertently getting in the way of a dangerous tool. Garden safety for toddlers is a serious topic. My toddlers are most at risk, as kids 2-5 years of age are most curious and don’t have the knowledge and intellect to know what may hurt them. But all children have the potential to do something silly and unexpected with a sharp tool.
Here are some garden safety tips for keeping your kids safe:
- Never leave a child unattended in the backyard – seems obvious, right?
- Child-proof the perimeter. Do you have a fence? If not, consider that your child can easily toddle to the front yard and street.
- Ensure you have no freestanding water in your backyard. Children can drown in mere inches of water. For more on water safety click here.
- Keep all gardening tools out of reach and ideally locked away. Try not to use them around your curious kids if you can. If you do, stress safety issues with your child if he or she is old enough to understand.
- Consider getting your child his or her own ‘gardening tools’. My kids have plastic size appropriate rakes and shovels. While we use our tools, they know never to touch ours, and ‘help’ with there tools instead.
- Keep all chemicals locked away. Pesticides and other gardening potions can quite easily kill a child. For more on deadly medicines for kids, click here.
- Never store dangerous chemicals in bottles they didn’t come in originally. Storing chemicals in pop bottles or water bottles can easily lead to confusion and injury. Everything should be well labeled and in childproof containers.
- Check that you don’t have poisonous plants or flowers in your garden. Poisonous plants abound and can harm a child or pet.
- Always pay attention to sun safety while outdoors. Check here for more sun safety tips.
Now that you’re focused on garden safety for toddlers & you know how to stay safe – get out there!
With kids playing outdoors now here’s a great article on Lacerations, Cuts & Scrapes!