Sources of danger in the garden: how to make the garden child-friendly!

two cute toddlers under apple trees

So that your children or grandchildren can really enjoy your garden and you yourself can be unconcerned, it is important to deal with and prevent possible sources of danger. Which dangers can threaten children in the garden and how you make the garden child-safe, we explain to you here.

1. Safe fencing

Children are curious and looking for adventures – sooner or later the garden will seem too small to them and the world "out there" is certainly a lot more exciting. To prevent small children from slipping out of the garden unnoticed, a secure fence is important. A hedge with dense growth does not usually provide enough safety, because somewhere there might be a gap big enough for a little explorer after all. A child-friendly garden fence is always better.

  • The minimum height of a fence suitable for children is one meter; ideal is a height of 1.40 meters.
  • The fence slats should have a maximum distance of 11 centimeters, so that no child’s head fits through or even gets stuck.
  • for climbers pointed fence slats can become a danger. Hunter fences or wrought-iron fences with spikes are therefore not childproof.
  • In contrast, picket fences and board fences without climbing aids such as crosswise beams are well suited.
  • Make sure that your child cannot injure himself on sharp edges or protruding nails and also that there are no gaps in the fence.

2. Water in the garden: making the pond and pool more childproof

Even in a child-friendly backyard, you don’t have to do without bodies of water – but realize that an unnoticed fall into the water can be life-threatening for young children. The Federal Working Group More Safety for Children e.V. For example, explains that the risk of drowning has nothing to do with the depth of the water:

"When small children get their faces under water – no matter how deep or low the water is – they fall into a kind of rigidity with a breathing barrier (…) They do not attempt to rescue themselves z.B. by screams or loud water hammering. Therefore, one also speaks of children ‘quietly’ drowning."

Therefore, we have tips for you on how to make your garden pond or pool more childproof:

Make the pond more childproof

Ideally, you should already pay attention to child safety when planning your garden pond: for example, you should steep slopes and slippery stone slabs around the pond avoid. Play it safe in any case with a Pond fence, which can also be supplemented by a pond guard or net. A dense hedge from box or rose bushes is the natural alternative to a fence.

little boy looking at a pond

Childproofing the pool

If you have a swimming pool in the garden, you can fence or cover it. Another possibility would be a lockable pool enclosure, but this is not for everyone.

In addition, a so-called Pool alarm This device, which is installed on the surface of the water or at the edge of the pool, senses larger wave movements that occur when, for example, a child or a pet falls into the water. As soon as this is the case, an alarm is triggered. Still, by the time you reach the pool, it can sometimes be too late. Also, alarms are not completely reliable. So you are only As a supplement Helpful to other safety measures.

Rain barrels and other water containers

Also Rain barrels and other deep, water-filled containers can become a danger to children. Secure these containers with covers. Also make sure that there are no climbing aids in the immediate vicinity.

Let your children Only use them under supervision Paddling pool. Even water wings do not offer one hundred percent safety from accidents. After use, it is best to empty the paddling pool completely.

Mini garden ponds in a pretty zinc tub, Birdbaths or a small Fountains are an ornament for garden or terrace, but even near them small children must be supervised at all costs. If possible, do not use such water-filled containers at all until the children are old enough to take care of themselves.

3. The right way to deal with poisonous plants

Wolfsbane, belladonna and even the pretty lily of the valley are not to be underestimated as poisonous plants. For children, a variety of popular garden plants pose a great danger!

Poisonous plant blueberry

  • Find out exactly which plants in your garden are poisonous. For example, a list of weakly to strongly poisonous garden plants can be found here.
  • Deliberately avoid poisonous plants, remove them, or place planters with poisonous plants out of children’s reach.
  • You can explain to older children which plants are dangerous and warn them strongly not to put plant parts in their mouths.
  • So that you know what to do in emergencies: on health.Here you will find important first aid tips if your child has swallowed poisonous plant parts.

4. Climbing trees: secure instead of prohibit

Climbing max in the branches

Climbing trees – a favorite pastime of many children. A survey commissioned by the German Wildlife Foundation showed that this kind of experience of nature is no longer commonplace for today’s children: 49% of children between the ages of four and twelve have never climbed a tree.

Young parents’ fears are understandable, but should not get in the way of children’s spirit of discovery and experience of nature. Instead, it makes sense to ensure safety and clear rules:

  • Especially old fruit trees are often fragile and therefore dangerous. It is best to cut off low-hanging branches.
  • Explain to your children or grandchildren that a fall from a tree can be dangerous and that not all trees are suitable for climbing.
  • If you have a climbing tree in the garden, make sure that the children fall softly in case of a possible fall, for example on grass. Old mattresses or other soft underlays can also be spread out under the tree.

5. Provide clear areas for play and romping

For older children to be able to let off steam in the garden to their heart’s content, it must have sufficient open space and not be too crowded.

Make sure that no tools such as rakes and garden shovels or the lawn mower cable are lying in the play area and can become a risk for playing children. Agree with children not to leave toys lying around after use, but to clean them up again.

6. Safe play on playground equipment and in the sandbox

For many, a child-friendly garden cannot be without a sandbox, a swing or a climbing tower. Take a few simple steps to make this a safe place to play:

Playground safety

Climbing frame, swing or play tower inspire every child. In the case of playground equipment, you must safe placement You should pay close attention to your church and check it regularly: floor anchors may have become loose over time, or a wooden post may have rotted. Pay attention already before the acquisition to the blue GS mark for "Tested Safety", which ensures the quality of the play equipment.

Child on a playground equipment

Danger-free digging in the sandbox

To protect the sandbox from soiling, for example by animal excrement, Just cover it when not in use. To prevent animals from digging into the sand from below, the sandbox must have a floor or be placed on a solid surface such as flagstones. The Sandbox border should not be made of stone and should not have dangerous sharp edges.

7. Safety around the tool shed

The tool shed is the realm of your tools, gardening equipment, fertilizer, pesticides, etc. – not that of your children. So that they do not injure themselves on the sharp rake or the hedge trimmer and do not accidentally swallow poisonous liquid fertilizer, you should always close off the shed. It’s best to keep dangerous items out of children’s reach, so rather on the highest shelf than on the floor. Always unplug electric garden tools after use and store them safely in the tool shed.

Tools hanging from wooden wall

8. Make the terrace suitable for children

To ensure that children can play on the patio without worry or danger, you should know the most common sources of danger:

  • To prevent falls, enclose elevated terraces with fencing or close-growing plants, such as a box hedge.
  • If a child falls while playing, he or she can suffer serious injuries on hard stone slabs. A soft pad in the play area remedies the situation.
  • Toddlers in particular should never be left unattended for long periods of time. So that you can still relax on the terrace, it is recommended to set up a playpen. It will keep your little one safe and sound while you have a chat with the neighbors or a quick trip to the kitchen to refill your coffee cup.

With a watchful eye and a few preventive measures nothing stands in the way of carefree hours in the garden. Common sense is usually enough to recognize sources of danger and act accordingly. With all the caution, but at the same time, the children’s urge to play and explore must not suffer. After all, what could be better for a child than discovering nature and wildlife for themselves in the garden and letting off steam with their peers to their heart’s content??

With this in mind, Gartenhaus GmbH wishes you and your children lots of fun in the garden!

Contributed image: iStock/ FamVeld; Image 1a: © iStock/ Lena_Zajchikova; Image 1b: © iStock/ sonyae; Image 2: © iStock/ PhotoEuphoria; Image 3: © iStock/ itakefotos4u; Image 4: © iStock/ IndigoLT; Image 5a: © iStock/ Jani Bryson; Image 5b: Rake: © iStock/ Mitja Mladkovic; Image 6: © iStock/ poisonsama; Image 7: © iStock/ EdwardSamuelCornwall; Image 8: © iStock/irina88w

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