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Pond and small children

Hi everyone. Two years ago we moved into a home with a beautiful pond. It contains 20+ goldfish and is a spawning ground for a dozen or so toads. The deepest part is about 3 feet. It attracts all kinds of birds and bees. We love it. But we recently had a baby and are wondering what is the best way to keep her safe around the pond? Do you have any advice or photos of fences etc? Are we better off to fill it in? Thank you very much.

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

It depends on the way your pond is situated but I think I would simply divide into one -restricted, fenced, locked gate adult- side with the pond and the other -safe, babyproofed- side with the play area.

This way, you can also thoroughly examine all the plants, structures, etc. in the play area side for anything toxic or hazardous and eliminate them before your baby becomes mobile. Of course you would still supervise and stay with your baby (and friends) while she/they are outside, and I urge you to start teaching them how to recognize toxic or dangerous plants as soon as they can learn.

When my DDs were little one fun game we used to play is to send them off to gather leaves or berries from the garden and compare shapes, textures, colors, fragrances. One variation was specific -- gather leaves that has more than just a "green" smell. Or gather flowers that smell nice. Of course by the time we were playing this game, my DDs knew how to recognize poison ivy and other rash-causing plants, thorny plants that shouldn't be grabbed, berries that shouldn't be touched, can be touched but not put in mouth, etc. And absolutely the first thing on going inside was to troop to the bathroom and thoroughly wash hands before eating anything.

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I like your advice! And those sound like fun games to play in the yard! I look forward to being able to do that with my little one! :)

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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:34 pm
Location: Brownville, Ne

About twelve years ago we made a nice small pond with goldfish and water plants. This was about the same time grandchildren were being born. All six have always had a nice pond to watch the goldfish swim. In those twelve years one kid one time has fallen in. He was four years old and took a dip when we were around and he was able to stand up right away. Since then, that grandchild has not been tempted to reach for a goldfish. Now eight, he stays away from the edge.

We have a border of plants and flowers at the edge and rocks as another border outside that. The kids just know not to cross the border and know enough to stay out of the pond. As little ones, we were always there to watch. The play areas are in another part of the yard.

Being grandparents it is not an every day occurrence of having to worry about kids in the pond, but when they do visit (plus we have nieces' and nephews' kids who enjoy the pond, too) it is more something to watch rather than play in. Our pond has not been a danger zone.

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