How to Kid-proof Your Outdoor Spaces
Letting your kids run and play outside is increasingly important in today’s digital overload. Matt Leacy of Landart Landscapes shares tips on making your outdoor areas safer for your kids.
Soften The Surfaces
“If you have kids running around frequently, it’s worth looking at how you can soften surfaces to decrease the chance and severity of damage that can come with falls, accidents and the like,” says Matt. “Cut back trees and plants with sharp branches – and consider introducing some soft plantings, hedges and groundcovers to act as barriers around potentially dangerous garden beds and hardscapes.” “Also, avoid any potentially toxic or prickly plants that kids might come into contact with,” Matt adds. “Steer clear of varieties like cactuses, Oleander (as a general rule, anything with white sap) hydrangeas, chillies, azaleas, agave, and some succulents – to name a few.
Attract Kids to the Safe Areas
“The easiest way to boost safety and control the ways that kids interact with outdoor spaces is to create child-friendly zones that attract their attention, and keep them away from potentially hazardous areas,” says Matt. “If they love to draw, you might look to install a little wall or fence for them to use as a chalk board. Large format pavers can also double as hop scotch squares and on-ground chalkboards.” “Other kid-friendly outdoor features include swing sets, rope swings, in-built trampolines, sandpit areas and mounted and stationed cubby houses,” Matt adds.
Pool Safety is a Must
“Every Australian state and territory has jurisdiction-specific pool fencing laws aimed at reducing risks associated with pool drownings,” says Matt. “All pools need to be fenced in compliance with local building codes and registered with local council.”