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Health and Safety in the Garden

During the summer months we tend to outside- when the weather permits. It is important that we are aware of the many hazards that exist in the garden. To reduce the risk of accidents in the garden, especially to young children remember the ‘FLOWERS’ safety tips.

Fences: secure all fences and close garden gates when children are playing outside.

Lighting barbecues: keep lit barbecues in an open space and never leave children unsupervised nearby. Make sure they are fully extinguished when finished. Take care when disposing of barbecues and coals. Allow them to cool down before placing in the bin.

Out of reach: keep chemicals and tools out of reach. Store them on a high shelf in a secure garden shed.

Water: always make sure that garden ponds / paddling pools are securely covered and children are supervised while playing in a paddling pool. Be aware of items that can fill with rain water such as buckets, plant pots and sand pit lids. As little as three centimetres of water can drown a small child.

Electrical equipment: lock all equipment such as power tools and lawn mowers in a shed or garage. 

Remove poisonous plants and berries: fence off any poisonous trees in your garden.

Soft surfaces: place all play equipment on a soft surface such as grass or a mat. If you have a trampoline, make sure that it has a safety net and that it is used by only one child at a time. Remember trampolines should not be used by children under 6 years of age.

Did you know?

It is estimated that more than 200,000 people go to A&E in the UK each year after being injured doing DIY, maintenance or gardening at home.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (RoSPA), the top ten most dangerous garden tools are:

1 Lawnmowers, (6,500 accidents in the UK each year);

2 Flowerpots (5,300);

3 Secateurs and pruners (4,400);

4 Spades (3,600)

5 Electric hedge trimmers (3,100);

6 Plant tubs and troughs (2,800);

7 Shears (2,100);

8 Garden forks (2,000);

9 Hoses and sprinklers (1,900);

10 Garden canes and sticks (1,800).

Many of the mower accidents happen when people cut themselves cleaning the blades, while lots of people trip over flowerpots or are injured moving them.

Men have more accidents in the garden than women and, apart from children, people aged 30 to 60 are most likely to come a cropper.

For more information contact Environmental Health on 03000 132 132 or email: environmentalhealth@midulstercouncil.org.