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It's great to get outside whatever the weather, and winter outdoor activities take on a whole new meaning as we are wrapped up warm and have different things to focus on and play with. However, there are still dangers at large and here are a few pointers when it comes to making outside play safe and fun for children.
- Even if it's chilly and you don't fancy going outside into the garden with the children, do go out and check first that the garden is safe and free from any animal debris or faeces. Foxes can bring in all sorts of things (other people's shoes, rags, soft toys) that they have found in neighbouring gardens. So clean up any mess first using disposable gloves.
- When going out in the country, make sure children avoid any fresh manure. It may be interesting (!) but it should not be touched or dug up.
- Similarly, don't let the children wander too far into ditches or boggy land that may lead to problems.
- Be aware of what may have been put on the park flowers or indeed your own garden (manure, fertilizer, animal repellent etc.) Even though you may not be able to see the chemicals/treatment, they may still be present and can be dangerous if consumed.
- Make sure that kids know they can play in mud, but they must NOT touch their faces and MUST wash their hands thoroughly afterwards. If they are too young to understand these rules, they cannot be allowed to play in mud.
- Keep children away from water such as streams, ponds and lakes, especially when it becomes colder and they freeze over.
- Keep an eye on them, even if it's your familiar garden they are playing in.
Have, good, clean and safe fun!