What Makes A Garden Design Family-Friendly?
Being able to enjoy a garden space with your family is an incredibly valuable pastime. Many children grow up with fond memories of exploring the outdoors, playing with their siblings, friends, and neighbours, all while basking in the sunshine that falls on their home’s garden. Typically parents want to encourage this, installing child-friendly features, such as slides and paddling pools, even trampolines, to ensure that their little ones actively enjoy being outdoors.
While this experience may seem straightforward, there are a number of considerations that need to be made first, primarily to ensure the ongoing safety of any children who play outdoors. If these aren’t taken, there are a number of ways that little adventurers can end up injuring themselves or even causing significant property damage.
Know Your Nature
One of the most common causes of injury experienced by children in a garden, especially those that can lead to an A&E visit, is related to plants. There are a number of potentially harmful plants that grow around the UK and, if not identified, controlled, or removed, they can lead to severe injury.
Hogweed, for example, is a pervasive plant that despite being so common has an especially potent and photoreactive sap. A number of children experience harm each year, snapping the stem or brushing against it, spilling the dangerous liquid onto their skin. For this reason, and many others, a basic knowledge of your garden’s plants is essential before you begin letting your children explore.
A Safe Area
Outbuildings, like summer houses or log cabins, have become a popular purchase for families as they allow children to enjoy garden spaces within the remit of a contained area. If you want to enable your children the ability to spend time outdoors while doing so safely or to simply allow them a space that can be among nature without being ‘outside’ then it can be worth investing in an outbuilding.
Many homes seek to build their garden space vertically. It’s a brilliant way to design an immersive outdoor space, as well as remedy the effects of a smaller garden area. For children, however, those who love to climb and investigate all objects, a vertical garden can be problematic. Garden planters and furniture that may potentially fall poses a threat to little ones. Even if they are fixed properly and safely, they can still pose a danger by giving children the ability to climb to new heights.
Tidy Your Tools
Garden tools, especially those that are frequently used, can often find themselves left among flowerbeds or spiked into the ground. If children are to be left to play and explore an outdoor area, all garden equipment should be safely removed. Ideally, they would be contained in a shed space, preferably one with a lockable door.
The British climate might not always lend itself to warm, sunny days. However, children have sensitive skin and, as a result, even a brief afternoon of sunshine can cause sunburn. For protection, and to ensure that children are able to play safely during the summer period, be sure to add patches of shade to your garden, whether from a tree or gazebo.