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How to make your garden baby safe

Kids love to play outside. Your own garden is a managed space where you can feel confident that your children are safe. If you are preparing your garden as a space for young children to play then these tips will help you consider any potential risks so that your garden is child friendly and baby safe.

To help make your garden baby proof you might consider the following:

Remove plants with inedible fruit

- Children may be tempted to eat fruit they see on the ground - but not all fruit is edible. 
- You might also prune off any overhanging branches from neighbours fruit trees. 

Discourage pests

- Regularly remove fallen fruit that could attract wasps.
- Remove wasp nests from your garden.
- Consider a wasp trap to keep babies safe from stings. 
- Cats may use your garden as a toilet. The best remedy could be to buy your own cat and they will likely stop other cats entering your garden/their territory. Cats don't like to use their own territory as a toilet.
- Rubber toy snakes left on the lawn can also sometimes help to deter cats - and kids can play with them!
- Keep sand boxes covered to avoid cats using them as a litter tray and keep cats out.
- Slugs come out at night and slime over toys! Wash toys and avoid leaving small toys outside at night.  (see also plant choice)

Baby proof ponds and water

- Fill ponds with soil. 
- Or fence ponds off but remember that children like to climb. Children develop quickly and what was adequate a month ago might not stop your child today. 
- Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes - empty unused buckets etc. 


- Have any area for dogs/pets fenced off separate from the childrens playing area. Alternatively, you might simply fence off an area as a specific dog toilet area. 
- Keep dog toys separate from childrens toys. Children like to put toys in their mouths.  

Child friendly plants

- Avoid buying/remove very prickly plants. They can hurt if you touch them but worse if you step on fallen twigs.
- Avoid buying/remove plants that develop berries that a child may think are edible.
- Slugs love plants that are soft and squashy. Plants that become squashy and slimy when they decay are attractive to slugs. Slugs are likely to slime all over toys that are left out at night.
- Buy plants that grow back easily when broken or trodden on!
- Don't cut the grass too short. This will help stop your lawn getting muddy with heavy use. However, cut regularly so your grass doesn't get too long.
- Do buy plants that are colourful and stimulate young minds!
- Do buy plants that attract beneficial insects like butterflies!
- Do teach your children to respect plants, to admire them and to treat them delicately. 
- Teach your children to identify prickly plants and stinging nettles!
- Why not set aside an area where children can plant seeds?


- Be aware that plastic toys can get very hot in the sun. 
- Create areas of shade and shelter from the sun. 
- Obviously, children need to be protected from over-exposure to the sun - hats, sun block but also insect repellent etc
- Clean/pressure wash algae covered decking and paths as these can become slippery after rain. 

Remove heavy objects

- Secure or remove heavy objects that could fall over - stone bird tables, garden ornaments.
- Check stone walls for loose masonry and re-point as necessary.  

Secure chemicals and tools

- Avoid using chemicals in the garden such as slug pellets. Always read the label.
- Keep other garden chemicals securely locked up and out of reach. 
- Keep garden tools locked up and out of reach. 
- Check/remove garden wire and string or plant supports that may look like a climbing frame!

Baby proof gates and fencing

- Ensure that gate locks and latches are out of reach of small children.
- Fix any broken fence panels or gaps in the fence.
- Lock gates to keep people out and children in.