Sow the Seeds of Safety. Top Tips for a Safer Garden

The garden is a place for all the family to enjoy, but it can also be a place where accidents happen. Even everyday activities like running and playing can expose children to the risk of injury. Every year, more than 125,000 kids need hospital treatment for garden injuries - and, in most cases, those injuries could easily have been avoided. Here are some tips on making your garden a safer place.

Tools - Never leave sharp tools lying around. Keep them safely locked away and out of reach.

Fences, walls & gates - Kids can easily slip out through holes in fences, walls and gates and get on to busy roads. Make sure your garden is secure by keeping them in good repair.

Play equipment - Swings and climbing frames should be securely fixed and well maintained. Don't put them on hard surfaces like gravel or paving, or near glass greenhouses.

BBQs - BBQs can be a major fire hazard. Never leave them unattended when children are around. Lit BBQs give off carbon monoxide so should never be used indoors.

Pathways - Broken or uneven paths and steps cause tens of thousands of nasty accidents every year. Keep them clean, well maintained and safe for everyone.

Sheds - Teach your children not to play in the shed. Use it to lock away dangerous chemicals like weedkillers, sharp tools and electrical equipment when not in use.

Water - Every year, toddlers drown in ponds and paddling pools. To avoid a tragedy in your garden, drain or cover ponds and empty paddling pools immediately after use.

Electrical equipment - Unplug electrical equipment when it's not in use. Never use it in the wet and always keep it in good repair. Fitting an RCD* (residual current device) could save a life.

Animals - Always keep an eye on children when they are playing with animals, and make sure your animals are kept under control.

Poisonous plants - Make sure you know which plants in your garden are poisonous* and keep them out of reach of young children.

For a free safety leaflet on poisonous plants in the garden, telephone 01494 717800 and ask for a copy of Take Care - be plant aware.

Residual current devices (RCDs) are intended to stop the flow of electricity when a cable or flex is cut or an electrical tool malfunctions, reducing

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