Each year about 50 people die and more than 300,000 are injured in and around the garden area in the UK. About 125,000 children need hospital treatment for injuries that have happened in the garden and in most cases those injuries could easily have been avoided.
Here are some tips on making your garden a safer place:
- Always place the cable of a hedge trimmer or mower over your shoulder and keep it behind you at all times.
- Wear appropriate clothing and shoes when mowing the lawn and keep feet and hands well away from the mower blades.
- Protect yourself from electrocution by always using a Residual Current Device (RCD) when operating electrical garden tools.
- Don’t work with electricity in damp or wet conditions.
- Make sure you know which plants in your garden are poisonous and keep them away from children. To find out more about which plants are poisonous visit the Real Gardeners website: www.realgardeners.co.uk (external link)
- Prevent accidental poisoning or injuries to yourself or others by carefully following manufacturers’ instructions when using weed-killers, adhesives and solvents.
- Never transfer any substances to alternative containers that could confuse and lead to poisonings.
- Avoid poisoning and chemical burns by storing chemicals safely out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a secure cabinet or locked shed.
- Keep garden tools in good repair and safely tidied away.
- Keep children and pets safely away when carrying out DIY or gardening jobs.
- Prevent injury from trips, slips and falls, by providing safety rails and barriers to changes in garden levels and ensure all paths and steps are level, stable and free from moss.
- Supervise children all the time; especially when visiting friends or relatives with pools or ponds.
- Keep barbecues and bonfires well away from trees, buildings and fences.
- Never use petrol or paraffin on a barbecue and never leave them unattended.
- Swings and climbing frames should be securely fixed and maintained. Don’t put them on hard surfaces.
- Empty paddling pools when not in use as a child can drown in just a few centimetres of water.
- Garden ponds should be filled in, or securely fenced off, while children are small. Take care when visiting other people’s gardens.
- Trampolines should have safety nets and pads fitted, and be placed away from walls, washing lines and hard surfaces.