Safety in the Garden

Taking precautions to keep your garden safe for all age groups

Every year about 500,000 people in the UK have accidents in their gardens that need medical treatment. The greatest risk is from water in ponds or pools (see Safety in and around water). Poisonous plants and chemicals, garden tools and barbecues also pose risks.

Avoiding poisonous plants

Some plants cause irritation if they come into contact with the skin. Other plants, if swallowed, may cause irritation of the mouth, throat, and stomach or nausea and vomiting. If a child swallows anything poisonous or anything you think might be poisonous, consult your doctor, or take the child to the accident and emergency department.

Using garden chemicals and tools safely

Store poisonous products in a locked shed or cabinet and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t leave sharp tools where children can find them. Wear goggles, ear protectors, gloves, and boots, when using tools such as chainsaws.

Using barbecues safely

Barbecues should always be supervised. Avoid lighting barbecues in a high wind, do not wear loose clothing near flames, and never pour flammable liquids onto smoking charcoal. When using a gas-fired barbecue, check for gas leaks and make sure that the flame is blue. Keep an outdoor fire extinguisher on hand.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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