- Wear the Right Clothes
Before you head out to cultivate your beautiful garden, make sure you’re wearing the proper attire. Protect your feet and wear boots or work shoes. Long pants can guard your legs from scratches, cuts and bites. Pants and shirts in a light-weight breathable material can help keep you cool and protect against bug and insect bites. Don’t forget to protect your “green thumb” and always wear gloves. Use ear plugs and safety goggles while working with garden equipment.
- Store Chemicals Properly
Keep all gardening chemicals in a locked, ventilated area that is out of children’s reach. Store gasoline in an approved container away from the house and wipe up any spills. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions when mixing or using chemicals. Avoid getting the chemicals on your skin. Remember to stay off the lawn and keep pets away after applying fertilizers or chemicals.
- Use Mowers and Tools Correctly
Before you fire up the mower or tractor, remove other tools or objects from the area in which you are working, to avoid injuries from objects being thrown from the equipment. Be alert and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when operating garden tools. Make sure that the equipment’s safety features are functioning properly before use. Keep young children away from mowers and supervised at all times.
- Remember Sun Protection
Gardening in the summer means hot temperatures. Prevent dehydration and drink water while you work. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and neck. Apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Do your gardening early or late in the day when the sun is less intense.
- Lift Responsibly
When lifting use proper body mechanics to avoid a back injury. Spread your feet wide, squat down, bend your knees and lift by straightening your legs. Avoid twisting or turning at the waist while carrying something heavy. Use your feet instead of your spine to change directions. Be careful not to over-pack the trash bags or receptacles. Ask for help moving bulky objects. Use a wheelbarrow or cart to move large loads.
This article first appeared in the August 2016 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.