Nothing can ruin a day of gardening faster than a trip to the ER – which happened to me once when I had a minor run-in with a hedge trimmer. I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that I am very happy to share this guest post since it addresses a very important topic: Safety in the garden.
The following is a contributed post. For more on my contributed posts, please see this page.
Keep Those Green Fingers Healthy With Gardening Safety Tips
As relaxing and slow-paced a hobby as gardening can be, it might be difficult to imagine it as anything other than the safest pastime out there. However, there are health and safety risks to just about anything if you do it often enough, and gardening is no exception.
Here, we’re going to look at a few tips to make sure that you stay healthy and safe when you’re out there trying to create a gorgeous-looking garden.
The Right PPE is Priority Number One
The vast majority of accidents in the garden involve your hands and your fingers. They typically involve accidents such as injuring your hands with your own tools or accidentally getting irritants on your hand (such as moss killer.) For that reason, you must always ensure that you’re wearing good gardening gloves, as you can see at this site. Good leather gloves also protect against insect bites.
If you’re clipping, mowing, or trimming in the garden, then it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re wearing safety goggles as well. These can protect you from the risk of gardening debris flying into your face and injuring your eye. If you’re using a loud power tool, such as a leaf blower, noise-blocking earmuffs are also a good idea. (Just be aware of your surroundings when you’re wearing them since you won’t be able to hear things like approaching cars.)
Visibility is a Key Concern
When you’re gardening with tools, you need to make sure that you’re able to see what you’re doing so you don’t end up clipping your fingers. For that reason, it’s best to garden during the day when it’s visible out. However, if you are taking care of chores in the evening, or just have a dark garden, you should use lighting to brighten it up.
Similarly, you should visit this website to make sure you have a spare pair of glasses on you at all times. If your visibility is compromised, not only can you hurt yourself with tools, but you can end up more vulnerable to the slip, trip, and fall hazards in your landscaping like patios and decking steps.
Mind the Sun
Just as not having enough natural light can be a health risk due to the effects on visibility, you should also be wary of spending too much time in the sun. If your garden gets plenty of access to the light, then you should try to garden in a long-sleeved shirt while using a broad hat to stop the sun from getting directly into your eyes.
Otherwise, make sure that you’re choosing an effective sunscreen, picking one that offers at least 30 SPF and guarantees protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Many sunscreens only protect against one or the other, but both kinds of rays can cause damage to your skin, including a very real risk of skin cancer. Don’t take that risk with your skin.
Take Care of Your Joints
It’s important not to push yourself too hard out there, but you might not know what damage you’re doing to your body until you’re done for the day, only to find a burning pain in your knees or your back. Gardening often involves spending a lot of time in a single position, working away. If you’re kneeling down or bending down, however, you can injure your back and joints. Be sure to do some stretches between tasks, as seen here, and try to find a way to work with better posture. For instance, instead of hunching down on your knees, you can make sure you’re kneeling at the right height with a gardening stool that offers some support.
Be Ready to Deal With Any Emergencies
Even though you might assume that gardening is relatively safe, especially with the tips above in mind, you should always be ready to deal with any injuries if and when they happen. As such, it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit nearby, such as in the shed, so you can quickly clean, treat, and dress any wounds as and when they happen.
Try to let someone know that you’re going out to the garden so that they can check in on you throughout the day. Keep a phone nearby. Take frequent breaks when gardening, and make sure that you have water on hand – both to keep you hydrated and to wash any wounds or contact with irritants ASAP.
Hopefully, the tips above will help you stay safe and allow you to garden without worrying about any aches, pains, or injuries along the way. But if you do hurt yourself, but sure to act on it quickly, as the bacteria you deal with when gardening can make injuries just a little riskier than usual.
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