Making your garden safe for children

If you have children and have a garden, or even just an outdoor space it can be fantastic. Even if it’s only small, to have somewhere for the children to play and get some fresh air is so useful for families.


We are out in the garden in all weathers and use it for so many things:

  • Playing on the monkey bars and swings
  • Playing in the sand
  • Easter Egg hunts
  • Building snowmen and having snowball fights
  • Nature trails
  • Chalking
  • Birthday parties
  • Water fights
  • Fruit picking
  • BBQs
  • Eating
  • Basket ball
  • Stilt walking


If you use it well, even in the winter, your outdoor space can be an extension of your home.

Not all outdoor spaces at people’s homes are totally safe for children though, and that can impact on the degree to which you can use and enjoy them if you are on edge about safety.

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The house I grew up in had a pond when we moved in. My parents didn’t think much about it initially. I wasn’t left alone in the garden so it was never an issue.

Until I was about three that is. I had a great friend who I’d basically spent time with since birth. Our parents attended antenatal classes together and stayed in touch. Their family were a big part of our lives in my ways in the years that followed and even now although we don’t  keep in touch I know from Facebook that she’s having wonderful travelling adventures which I can keep up with.

We spent a considerable amount of time together as three year olds playing dressing up and we always had a new adventure underway so it’s no surprise we both ended up loving travelling.

One summers day we were playing in the garden, “going on our holidays ” was the game….shocker!  My mum was in the garden with us and nipped inside for a minute to get us both a drink.

When she returned she was horrified to see us knee deep in green slime in the pond.

“We are at the seaside” we chorused!

Now, my parents have told the funny side of that story so many times, but my lovely daddy has continued to remind me of the serious side of the incident.

It takes very little water for a child to drown and a slimey pond is a recipe for disaster.

The next morning my dad was out there filling the pond in and making it into a pretty rockery. He carried buckets and buckets of frogs and toads up to the nearby brook and the pond was a goner less than 24 hours later!


Now we don’t have a pond, but we do live on a very busy main road and despite having a gate across the drive it just isn’t safe enough.

We’ve therefore set about securing the garden to ensure everyone can play safely and we aren’t totally paranoid all of the time.

Is your outdoor space safe? Have you had to make any modifications?


  1. It is difficult to keep children completely safe. Apparently when I was very young I fell over a low fence and cut my head open and needed stitches. My son got a splinter from the garden gate deeply embedded in his hand and had to have it surgically removed in hospital. My granddaughter managed to break her femur in her bedroom and had to go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital when she fell on a guitar at school and sliced her ear. I think it is an excellent idea to try and remove as many hazards as possible from gardens. My grandchildren play out a lot and live next to a nature reserve and a canal so I hope they will grow up aware of potential hazards. Their back garden is grassed all over apart from a slabbed path and patio area and has 6 foot fencing all around, so hopefully will be safe.

    1. Oh goodness you have all been in the wars – things happen don’t they, including things that seem a bit random and freak and that will always be the case so we just have to do our best to protect children where we can.

  2. Our garden is child friendly but my son likes to try and climb up the fence sometimes and gets a splinter if not careful

  3. I always remember my mum tying the gates together so we couldn’t open them and escape on to the bust road outside our house!

    1. That is exactly what my Mum used to do. I think there was a bit of a different attitude to safety ‘back’ then 🙂

  4. Our garden is just grass as I am not a gardener! We have a bolted gate which means that it is secure. Unfortunately my five year old has now taken to attempting to open it so he can go an play in the drive!

  5. Our little backyard is going to be astro-turfed for baby grandson and we have two bouncy dogs who chase it each other round and round, kicking up gravel… Planning to sort that in a month or two when we have the funds. =)

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