5 Not-So-Kid-Friendly Landscape Features To Avoid If You Have Small Children

Your landscape is an extension of the style choices that you make inside your home and should be rightfully decked out to make the best impressions. However, when you have little feet around that are frequently in the midst of your home's landscaping, you do have to be careful about what you have around. There are five not-so-kid-friendly landscape features that you should avoid if you have little ones in your home. 

1. Retaining Walls - Retaining walls are a great way to add dimension and depth to your landscape, but kids will see these walls as great places for climbing, jumping, hiding, and just generally horsing around. Therefore, even a slight retaining wall can be a major burden and a dangerous landscape feature to have if you have kids. If you must have a retaining wall for whatever reason, make sure the ground below it is covered in soft turf or mulch instead of concrete or stone. 

2. Landscape Fountains or Ponds - Any standing water in your landscape could become a drowning hazard. Remember, all it takes for a child to drown is just a puddle of water deep enough to immerse their mouth and nose. If you must have water features in your landscape, stick with quick-drain fountains that have no pooling water at the base. 

3. Toxic Plants and Shrubs - When you initially pick out plants for your landscape, you will no doubt be enticed by all the colorful and lovely varieties available. However, before you choose a plant based on its looks alone, make sure you get familiar with the list of toxic plants that could pose a hazard to your children. Some of the most beautiful plants are poison wrapped in a clever disguise, such as oleander and foxglove, so you do have to be careful what you choose. 

4. Trees that Contain Toxic Components - While you are investigating the toxic plants and shrubs you don't want in your landscape, don't forget that there are also some trees that can be toxic as well. For example, holly trees, which are ornamental trees that produce bright red berries, can be incredibly harmful if your kids try to pluck and eat the berries, causing vomiting and diarrhea. 

5. Brick Landscape Borders - It is common to create a landscape border with traditional bricks to match the exterior cladding of the home. Even though this may be a nice way to tie the whole look of the house together, regular bricks can contain sharp edges that clumsy little feet may end up coming in contact with while they are outdoors playing. If you must use brick in the landscape to match the house, try to tie in rounded or curved varieties that don't have the same sharp edges and points. 

For more tips on how to build a kid-friendly yard, contact landscape designers in your area.