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Take care of children in the garden

By the Children's Safety Education Foundation. An estimated 500,000 accidents occur in the garden every year due to hazards of ponds, paddling pools, play equipment, greenhouses and electrical equipment.

Safety in the garden - how to keep children safe

You can help to prevent accidents by following sone simple safety advice.

Making ponds safe

  • It is possible for a child to drown in as little as 2 inches of water, so even shallow water is dangerous
  • Ideally, garden ponds should be drained and filled with sand to make a sand pit until the child is older
  • If filling your pond is not possible then a cover should be made. Every care should be taken to ensure the cover is child-resistant.
  • Or a strong, solid fence should be built around the pond

Paddling pools

  • Always supervise young children. For example, if the phone rings, take your children with you.
  • Turn paddling pools upside down when not in use or store away from children.

Gardening Equipment

  • Keep your tools away from children, unplug electrical equipment and make sure children are indoors when you mow the lawn
  • Children can down in rainwater that has collected in buckets, wheelbarrow, paddling pool or uncovered dustbins. Prevent this by turning all containers upside down.
  • Keep chemicals out of reach, many caps are child-resistant but not completely child-proof.

Other people's gardens

  • 80% of drowning incidents happen in someone else's garden. Do not assume that a friend's garden is safe until you have checked it in person.
  • Check your hedges and fences - could your child climb through and find a neighbour's pond?

Sheds and play equipment

  • Swings and climbing frames should be securely fixed and checked regularly for safety
  • Do not place play equipment on hard surfaces, or near ponds or greenhouses.
  • Make sure washing line is well above children's heads and well away from all play equipment.


  • Broken or uneven pathways cause thousands of accidents each year. It is a good idea to keep them well maintained, free of debris and clean.
  • Make sure that there are no garden stakes or sharp objects to fall onto.

Poisonous plants

  • Know which plants in your garden are dangerous and ideally remove them. You can check on Shoot whether there is a toxic risk for your plants
  • If you think someone has swallowed a poisonous plant dial 999 immediately and request an amulance. Keep the casualty still, try to identify the plant and keep a sample.


  • Never leave them unattended
  • Burns should be flooded with cold water for at least 10 minutes. If water is not avaiable use any harmless cold liquid such as milk or lemonade.
  • Gently remove any restrictive jewellery or clothing before the injured area begins to swell
  • Cover with a sterile dressing or any clean, non-fluffy material and bandage loosely.
  • Seek medical advice if you are unsure about the severity of any burn.