The garden is a popular spot in the summer, particularly if you enjoy entertaining or have children. While guests hang out on the patio, your kids and their friends cartwheel in the grass, twirl on the swings, or jump into the paddling pool. The scent of grilled burgers and hotdogs fills the air as mosquitos cause annoyance and the dog waits for table scraps.
It’s an idyllic scene, and one that shatters all too easily. Gardens can contain many hazards, ranging from poisonous plants and pesticides to grills and lawn mowers. If left unattended, they can put guests, kids, pets, and your home itself at risk.
Fortunately, the dangers can be addressed and surmounted with the following checklist. Use it to improve garden safety so you can get back to BBQing, chatting, and playing your game of croquet.
Verify that Garden Plants and Supplies Are Out of Reach for Kids and Pets
A back garden can host any number of poisonous plants. While most cause only a rash or an upset stomach, some can be deadly to animals and young children. Oleanders, for instance, are very pretty but can be lethal.
Keep in mind that many lawn and garden products, like weed killers or pesticides, are also toxic. Toddlers, preschoolers, and even puppies get into things they shouldn’t, and that can include poisonous chemicals if they’re not stored properly.
You should do some research before planting any flowers or vegetables. If you choose to include toxic plants in your garden, secure them in elevated garden beds, and consider enclosing them with safety fencing.
When treating your lawn or garden with herbicides or pesticides, keep pets and kids indoors. Even if you use nontoxic pesticides and herbicides, you will want to play it safe by keeping an eye out and storing the chemicals in an area inaccessible your pets and children.
Check Your Patio for Structural Weaknesses
Wooden patio and deckings are very susceptible to water damage, which typically manifests as rotted and warped boards. Rot spreads quickly, and failing wood can splinter underfoot. Brick and stone patios also require upkeep, as missing grout or broken tiles can be tripping hazards.
Loose or missing railing slats can also prove dangerous for small children, especially if the patio area is raised.