For parents of small children, the most important factor for all aspects of life is safety. We want to build our children’s world to be the safest it can be, and that goes for fencing, too. Fencing in general adds a huge element of safety for children because the boundary allows you to keep them within your watchful gaze, while simultaneously keeping out people and critters you don’t want interacting with your children. Children are also curious creatures, so they are probably going to want to climb, touch, or play with the fence and the boundaries of your yard. We want you to feel comfortable and confident leaving your children in your yard, knowing that the fence will be there to keep them safe.
However, not all fencing is created equally when it comes to child safety. There’s no perfect fence for children, but it is important to consider many different aspects before purchasing and installing a fence around your home. At Long Fence, we want to ensure that you are comfortable with your decision regarding your fencing, and we will help you do that.
The most obvious consideration is the material of the fence itself. There is a wide variety of residential fencing available. We offer aluminum, vinyl, chain link, wood, and ornamental iron fencing. Each of these types of fence has its own benefits and drawbacks, but it is important to consider which is best for small children.
In general, we recommend aluminum or vinyl fencing for families with small children because they are quite durable against damage, are not easy to climb, and can securely install a gate. That means that if your kids are playing soccer, or any other activity where there may be damage against the fence, an aluminum or vinyl fence will be able to sustain the damage. Aluminum fencing is stronger than vinyl, but vinyl can still hold its own. These types of fencing also tend to be harder to climb due to their material and structure, so that will better be able to keep your kids within your land. In general, vinyl fencing is very easy to take care of and is very durable over time. Aluminum fencing is also very durable over time, as it does not rust, but aluminum fencing tends to have less curbside appeal.
Wood fences are a popular option, but it is important to keep in mind that wood fences tend to splinter and break down in more dangerous ways, compared to other types of fencing. Wood fencing will also rot in a few years, which is less relevant, as your kids will be older. Wired fencing is also not a suggested option because wire fencing will break over time, which means loose wire that can poke a small child.
The next most important consideration when deciding on your new fence is the design. Obviously, you want a fence with limited large holes, but make sure you also consider the top of the fence. Avoid a design with spikes and sharp edges.
Many metal fences, like aluminum fences, will have spiky tops. We can work with you to ensure that there are no sharp spots in your fence by suggesting a flat rail aluminum fence, which is basically flat from the top.
In general, most fence designs will not have large pockets of space for children to climb through, unless you choose something like a wooden split rail fence. Split rail fences have large gaps that children can easily climb through, but most vinyl and aluminum fences do not have that problem. In terms of design, you also want to make sure there are no horizontal slats which will make it significantly easier for a small child to climb.
A fence’s height could probably be considered its design, but height is important enough to require its own section. In general, you want a fence that is hard to climb, so taller fences are better. That being said, taller fences can be less aesthetically appealing, but we can work with you to find that perfect middle ground, without compromising your child’s safety. A 5’ or 6’ is ideal for a child, as that is very difficult for a small child to climb. The height may also allow for additional privacy for your family, so a solid fence height can serve both functional and safety purposes.
Most fences will be designed with a gate, allowing for easy access to the fenced area. As a parent to small children, an important consideration is your ability to tell whether the fence is latched, not just closed. You will probably be able to tell from afar whether the fence door is closed, but it will be harder to tell if the gate’s latch is properly closed. Not to mention, you want to make sure the gate latch is as childproof as possible, to avoid the children opening the latch themselves and escaping. We have a variety of latch options, and we can work with you to find one that is best suited to protect your family.
This consideration is obviously only important for families that have a pool. Small children using a pool always require supervision, so you may want to ensure that children do not have unfettered access to the pool without your knowledge. If you have a fence, you may want to check your state laws about the requirements of your pool requiring a fence. There exists regulation about the fence height being at least 48”, as well as design considerations. Some states even require an auto-locking and auto-closing mechanism to ensure that children do not accidentally follow someone into the pool area.
There are a lot of considerations when designing and installing a fence for your family and to protect your small children. We, at Long Fence, want to work with you to design and install the perfect residential fence for your family, finding the balance between aesthetics, functionality, and safety.