Child-Proofing Your Spring Garden

This is a partnered post.

Even though the calendar says it’s spring, the weather has something different in mind.

Only a few days ago, the city of Chicago received over 5 inches of snow in a mid-April day, which is remarkable in its own right. According to the NWS chart, Chicago was only 0.1 of an inch away from breaking the single-day snowfall record in the area, which would have been exciting. Thankfully, it’s getting rather late in the season, so snowfalls are likely to stop until the end of the year.

Depending on where you live, the sun might already have started to warm up the garden, shining over the messy lawn – the lawn always looks like a mess at the end of winter – and encouraging you to go outside. For many homeowners, the time to give their outdoors some love and call upon their lawn service is now. However, if you’re considering making a list of all the fragrant and colorful flowers you want in the garden, you need to rethink your priorities. Indeed, if you have children, the backyard becomes an extension of the playground. If you’ve been dreaming of getting a new water feature installed and adding a handful of rose bushes, you will have to find a child-friendly alternative. Every year countless children land in ER as a result of a harmless afternoon in the garden. Keeping your kids safe starts now; here are the top spring safety tips for your backyard.

Child-Proofing Your Spring Garden
Kids playing in the garden

It’s always hot in the sun
We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again. Don’t believe what the calendar says. Spring has only just begun, and you are not prepared to spend a lot of time outdoors without any protection. Contrary to popular belief, the most severe sunburns you can catch don’t happen in summer. Indeed, when the weather is hot, people are likely to remember to put sunscreen protection on their exposed skin. However, at the beginning of spring, you may be a lot less careful about protecting your skin. Surely nobody can burn; it’s only comfortably warm! Keep telling yourself that, and you’ll end up with a nasty and painful sunburn. Even if it’s not hot enough yet to run around in shorts, you should get the kids some protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember that their skin is fragile, especially at the end of winter where they spend more time indoors. As a rule of the thumb, you should wear sunscreen protection every day, and that also includes mild spring days.

Spring sunburns tend to be the worse as the body isn’t prepared to register the danger. If you notice swelling around the burned area, applying milk and aloe vera compresses can help to stop the pain and boost recovery.

Don’t give bugs a chance
Everybody knows that your garden is a paradise for bugs. Insect repellents can be helpful to keep most pests at bay, but if you want to manage the risks adequately, you should start by treating the garden. At the end of winter, the lawn is typically overgrown. Organizing appropriate lawn care can make sure that bugs don’t have any spot to hide. Ticks, especially, love tall grass. As they’re renowned for transmitting dangerous diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, you don’t want to make it any more comfortable for them to live in your backyard. Keeping your grass mowed and trimmed short encourages a tick-free environment.

It’s time to get the BBQ out
Are you ready for the first BBQ of the year? The weather is getting warmer, so any weekend now, you’ll be grilling delicious burgers outside – vegetable or meat based, it’s up to you. However, regardless of how delicious the prospect of a grilled lunch might sound, BBQ and children are not a happy combination. You should consider ways to appropriately child-proof your garden grill. Start by setting a perimeter using a gate or a fence, to keep young children away. If you’re going to use the BBQ, you should make sure your child has something to keep them occupied, such as toys that are unlikely to fall on the BBQ – no ball games for now!

Are you making a bee hotel together?
When you have a garden, you can create an inviting space for wildlife. However, at the same time, you need to make your child aware of the risk of disturbing the bugs and small animals around. Together, you can make a small bee hotel to help solitary bees survive – solitary bees rarely sting, and only as a last resort. If you’re not a DIY-person, you can find bee hotels in your local garden center too. Providing a safe space for insects means that they’re less likely to try to nest in unexpected spots. But remember to educate your children and teach them to stay calm around bugs.

Are your plants safe?
Young children and toddlers tend to explore the world through their senses. They touch, smell, see, and taste. Consequently, you need to be careful about your selection of garden plants. Indeed, some plants can be poisonous to human beings. Philodendron is not fatal but can cause nausea, swelling of the mouth and tongue, vomiting and diarrhea. English Ivy always creates a cozy exterior; however, it can cause soreness and swelling if ingested. Despite its beautiful colors, the azalea can have life-threatening consequences if your child ingests large quantities of the flowers, leaves or nectar.

Gardening is fun when you know what you’re going
Gardening can be relaxing. It’s no surprise then that a lot of people with a hectic work life enjoy the peacefulness of gardening, from trimming bushes to growing your own vegetables. You can even share most activities with your children. Little ones love picking up greens in the garden! However, you should make sure to keep your tools locked away in the shed. Gardening tools can lead to deep cuts and painful concussions in inexperienced hands. And things could get a lot worse if you have electric cutting and mowing tools.

Child-Proofing Your Spring Garden
A locked shed is a safe shed

Your spring garden is a place of revival. It’s finally the end of the cold season. As children are ready to go outside and play, you need to make sure they can stay safe at all times.

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