Do You Know The Dangerous That Lurk Outdoors?


Image by Allan Mas: CC0 Licence

Creating a child-friendly garden is a significant priority for any parent, and not just because of the educational benefits that time outside can offer. In reality, the chance to spend time outdoors in a fun, tailor-made space can also work wonders for the overall health and activity levels of any child. Unfortunately, it can also pose some risk of injury. 

After all, while many of us are told in detail how to child-proof our homes, we don’t often understand the full extent of risks that are faced outdoors. Of course, obvious precautions including the blocking off or total removal of additions like ponds or pools should go without saying, but parents will also want to think about hidden risks that might not necessarily get the same airtime, such as the ones we’ll be discussing here. 

Poisonous plants

Seeing kids pick, smell, and explore flowers and other plants is one of the primary joys of letting them play outdoors, and it’s something that many of us falsely assume to be safe due to our lack of tropical plant life. In reality, though, there is a range of native poisonous plants even across the UK, and any number of them can, unfortunately, sneak their way into even otherwise pristine flowerbeds. As such, regular pruning of all exterior plant beds is fundamental for any garden where kids are likely to play, as is extensive knowledge of any potentially dangerous intruders, such as – 

  1. Deadly nightshade

  2. Wolfsbane

  3. Poison hemlock

  4. Etc.

Image by Tetyana Kovyrina: CC0 Licence

Oil spills

For homeowners with home oil tanks, oil spills are another significant toxic hazard. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for unserviced or unattended oil tanks at the back of the garden to experience this setback, and kids are often the first ones to discover the issue. This highlights the need for at least once yearly checks and services. Given that strength and safety are the main benefits of using bunded fuel tanks, it’s also worth considering a switch before kids are old enough to explore. That way, you ensure that they never find themselves in a quite literally sticky situation.

Unexpected company

Like flower exploration, the chance to enjoy wildlife is a prime benefit of time outdoors, but again, the lack of highly venomous bugs and insects in the UK doesn’t mean that no care needs to be taken. In fact, with around 3,000 people contracting serious conditions like Lyme disease from even seemingly innocuous ticks, it’s fair to say that there are still incredibly prevalent risks. While you can’t altogether offset these, knowledge is again key, and making sure that your kids know to look but not touch wildlife is the best possible way to help them avoid injury. It’s also worth keeping grassy areas mown at all times, reducing the risks of brushing up against any nasty visitors that could leave a lasting impact. 

Image by Egor Kamelev: CC0 Licence

Time outdoors is undeniably crucial for development and happiness. Make sure your children can enjoy that freedom as much as possible by doing whatever you can to reduce the risks that you didn’t even realise they were exposed to.

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