Newry.ie

With the weather at long last making the great outdoors and particulary gardening attractive once again, a new campaign has been launched reminding householders of the importance of keeping themselves, and especially their children, safe in the garden.

Using the acronym FLOWERS, the campaign highlights seven key areas which are among the most common causes of garden accidents.

Key Areas

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

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have launched a campaign aimed at keeping everyone safe in the garden
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have launched a campaign aimed at keeping everyone safe in the garden. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Lighting barbecues: Keep lit barbecues in an open space and never leave children unsupervised near a barbecue. Make sure they are fully extinguished when finished. Take care when disposing of barbecues and coals and make sure they have cooled down before putting them 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 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 lawnmowers in a shed or garage.

Remove Poisonous Plants and Berries: If you have poisonous trees in your garden, fence them off.

Soft Surfaces: Ensure all play equipment is placed on a soft surface such as grass or a mat. If you have a trampoline, ensure 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 six years of age.

For more information contact your local Home Safety team on 0300 013 2233

Top ten most dangerous garden tools

(According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents)

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

Flowerpots (5,300) 

Secateurs and pruners (4,400)

Spades (3,600)

Electric hedge trimmers (3,100)

Plant tubs and troughs (2,800)

Shears (2,100)

Garden forks (2,000)

Hoses and sprinklers (1,900)

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 have an accident.

The most common accident in a garden is a fall (115,000), but the biggest threat to people actually gardening is a cut (19,000), then falls (18,000) and being struck by objects (12,600).

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