child safety outdoors, near road

Emily - posted on 03/10/2011 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are looking at buying a new home. Our current house has a fenced in yard, so outdoor safety hasn't been a huge issue as of yet. We have 2 kids, ages 4 and 1. The house we're looking at has no fence, and I'm trying to figure out how I would do things like gardening with the kids running around outside, without worrying constantly that they're going to run on to the road. My husband works long hours, so usually I'm by myself with the kids. Any tips?

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Pam - posted on 03/12/2011

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If you are gardening or turning your back on your kids, I would recommend fencing as well. Remember, you are trying to keep your children safe from going to into the street, but remember you are also trying to keep them safe from someone approaching your children in the open. A fence at least offers a degree of barrier and protection from lurking dangers. If that doesn't work, you could put up your temporary fencing, and perhaps add a little play tent inside, so they can play...put a little table in it, or pillows so they have a play house within your yard. That might help keep them entertained. Keep an alarm whether on your phone or nearby that goes off at intervals so you don't get so distracted you don't look in on them regularly.

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I set physical boundaries. My daughter has never had a problem with it. For example, she can't go past the tree in the front yard. If she's in the driveway she can't go past the crack in the concrete. We moved into this house when she was 18 months old and she's never had an issue following those rules.

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Emily - posted on 03/13/2011

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Thank you for all the ideas! I was also thinking maybe I'll just get my kids their own garden tools so they can dig around in the dirt with me.

Meg - posted on 03/13/2011

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We do not have a fence. We have a hedge. I have set boundaries. I also know that attention span of kids means that I do a little work, then interact with my son. I also turn my head to keep an eye on him.

Keri - posted on 03/13/2011

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We desperately want a fence. Usually the kids will play in the back yard and stay there, but the other day my daughter went out the front door and was almost hit by the neighbor. I didn't know she was outside. We have since remedied her being able to open th front door, but I still have no fence to keep her in the back yard. I have to be outside with her.

The hassle of having to mow around a fence is minimal compared to how you would feel if either of your children were hit because you turned you back.

Amy - posted on 03/10/2011

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My son is now 5 but we also set rules that he has always followed. We have a tree in the front yard that he knows he can't go past and he doesn't and we live on a pretty busy street. We now have a daughter who is just about to turn one, my oldest is a really good big brother and whenever she does something she's not supposed to he's right there trying to gie her something els to play with. I obviously won't rely on him to watch her but set boundaries and you should be fine as long as the four year old can follow directions.

Casey - posted on 03/10/2011

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It's always safer to have a fence regardless of weather it makes mowing harder or not, the portable fences may be enough to contain your youngest child but it won't be enough to contain your oldest and once the older on can get out it won't take long for the younger one to work it out, you may be able to teach your kids about physical boundaries like Sara did but I'd hate to see what could happen if just for a minute one of your kids got sidetracked and chased a ball or animal onto the road it's just not worth the risk and you also have to think about other peoples kids who might visit you they are not going to understand the boundary system that you have set in place for your kids. I'd just suck it up if I were you and invest in decent fencing for now at least untill your kids are a bit older cause not only does secure fencing keep your kids from getting out of the yard but it also stops feral nasty dogs or even worse strangers and dangerous people from getting near your kids.

Emily - posted on 03/10/2011

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I was thinking maybe something like portable fencing? Like those big baby gates you can make a circle with. Anyone have experience using something like this outside? Something I could fold up and store in the garage.

Emily - posted on 03/10/2011

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Well truthfully we really don't want a fence again :) Pain in the @ss to mow the lawn and trim around! lol

Michelle - posted on 03/10/2011

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I would talk to your bank about working in the extra money to put up a fence into the mortgage

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