The Centers for Disease Control has released a set of gardening health tips for those who love to get in the soil and enjoy the outdoors. These safety tips are ways to still enjoy your favorite activities without being a health risk. How many of these tips do you already do?
When it’s Hot Outside
Always monitor your activities when it’s hot outside, no matter how long you are going to be outside. Drink lots of water and not drinks with sugar or alcohol. Those drinks make you lose more body fluid than pure water. Take more breaks, especially getting into the shade. This can help your body recover If you are breathless, sore, or have a headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or a rapid pulse you may have a heat related illness and will need to stop.
Always have on tough shoes, long pants, and goggles when you are using lawn equipment. Use ear plugs to help your hearing too. Don’t forget your gloves and your insect repellent to aid in keeping cuts and bug bites down. By having a hat, long sleeves, and sunscreen on, you can lower your chances of getting a sunburn and lower your risk of skin cancer.
Don’t Forget the Vaccine
All adults should get a tetanus shot every ten years, especially gardeners that are going to be using sharp tools and be in the soil They are more prone to infections when there are sharp pointed plants. Any break to the skin can cause tetanus, so before a gardening season check to see if it is time for that tetanus/diphtheria vaccine.
Chemical and Equipment Safety
When you are going to be using power equipment and chemicals, make sure you are totally focused on the job at hand. Don’t be distracted or be trying to do multitasking during this time. It will lower your risk of an injury.
If you are taking medications that may make you sleepy, always realize that beforehand. Don’t take your meds and start to work with power tools or other equipment that may be dangerous. Don’t climb ladders and be high up if the medication makes you dizzy. Knowing how you react to medications can keep you safer in your garden.
While these may sound like standard tips, the CDC feels that people are always thinking “it’s too hot to wear long sleeves and pants” or “I’m just going to do it for a minute, I’ll be fine”, and that is when injuries occur. Remember to do it every time, for your health.
Source: CDC, Gardening