Summer is officially here – and that means long days, sticky nights and plenty of time spent soaking up rays. Kids will be chomping at the bit to get outside to play frisbee and splash in the paddling pool, so it may feel like you need eyes everywhere at all times. Here are some summer garden tips to keep your outdoor space fun, safe and stress-free.
Keep it shady
When the sun has got his hat on, so should your kids. Make sure there's plenty of shade in your garden between 11am and 3pm, when the sun’s at its fiercest. If you don't have any leafy trees, set out a few umbrellas or even a gazebo.
If you are going to be out and about in the midday sun, stay protected. Wear strong suncream, sunglasses and a hat to avoid the worst of the sun’s glare. Take extra care with kids under four, as they’re the most susceptible to heat-related sickness.
Wet and wild
Hot weather is the perfect excuse to fill up the pool and it's the easiest way to stay cool on a scorching day. Installing a water feature can help cool down hot gardens and if you don't have a paddling pool, sprinkler systems can be repurposed as makeshift fountains for kids to run through and cool off.
If you have any body of water on your land – whether it's a swimming pool, pond or even a paddling pool – make sure it's fenced off when unsupervised, so no curious tykes can fall in by accident. Never let kids play near water without keeping a close eye on them.
Play equipment gets a proper workout in the summer months. Before your kids put their play set through its paces, make sure your swings and climbing frames are still suitable for use. Run your hands over them for cracks, check that all bolts are tightly secured and be on the lookout for signs of rust or erosion.
Metal equipment can get very hot during the daytime, as it conducts heat. Steer kids away from metal bars or slides during the hottest part of the day. Wooden and even plastic frames typically stay at a comfortable temperature, whatever the weather. Bear that in mind when shopping for new summer toys.