Gardens are a much-loved feature of Australian homes and many people put a great deal of time, money and effort into designing their outdoor spaces. If you have children, you no doubt want your garden to be a safe, inviting and exciting place for them to spend time in. If you're in the process of planning a garden makeover, then here are two vital considerations to make it the ultimate child-friendly space.
1. Install a shade sail
The Australian sun is fierce and you are most likely well aware of the havoc it can wreak on your children's vulnerable skin. Even during the winter months, UV rays from the sun can cause damage and increase the likelihood of skin cancer developing in the future.
A truly child-friendly garden will have adequate shade for them to play in without the risk of sunburn. For some people, mature trees may provide plenty of shady spots. However, if you don't have large shade trees or you're in a new home with immature trees, then a shade sail is an excellent option.
Shade sails are most commonly seen in recreational parks or at schools and daycare centres. Most shade sail companies also provide them for residential use and they can be made to fit the dimensions of your garden. Shade sails provide effective and extensive shade which will make your garden safe to use even during hot summer days or the midday sun.
2. Don't install water features
Water features are a popular choice for many homeowners. They provide tranquil sounds and make an eye-catching centrepiece for the garden. However, if you have children, water features should be avoided if you want to create a safe environment where your children can play.
Although there is a lot of focus on pool drownings, children can and frequently do drown in surprisingly smaller bodies of water in the garden. Ponds, fountains and other water features pose a potential drowning risk, even if there are only a few centimetres of water contained in them.
If your children love water play, then a sprinkler system is a fun and much safer option than a water feature. This will allow them to indulge in their fondness for water and cool down when it's hot, without the risk of drowning. As an added bonus, your garden will receive a thorough watering at the same time, saving you time and effort as well as having happy and content children.