What are your upcoming weekend plans? As the weather warms up and the grass turns green, your yardwork to-do list might start to grow. From mowing the lawn or raking to putting down mulch or planting flowers, there is a lot to be done. If you are not careful, the simplest yard work can lead to an unexpected injury.
So as you grab your gardening tools and head outside, remember these safety tips:
Working in the yard can mean handling a variety of chemicals, contaminants and skin irritants. Protective clothing also helps against ticks, mosquitos and other pests you may encounter outside.
Another idea is to wear high rubber boots, since ticks usually hide out close to the ground. Also, wear gloves when using fertilizers, weed killers or other lawn chemical - or when pulling weeds with thorns!
When using machinery and power tools outside, always protect your eyes from flying debris. Eye injuries are common but also preventable with a simple pair of safety goggles.
Hearing protection is another good idea, since some power tools can be very loud and even cause hearing damage.
You may wonder what immunizations have to do with yardwork. Surprisingly, tetanus lives in the soil and can enter the skin through cuts or other open wounds.
If you’re not up-to-date with your tetanus vaccinations, think twice before gardening. Digging in the soil can make you susceptible to a tetanus infection.
Are you moving heavy wheelbarrows full of mulch, or stones, or dirt? Remember to always lift with your legs, not your back. Strained back muscles are common with heavy-duty yardwork.
Always listen to your body – if it’s hurting, take a break.
Even if it’s not hot and humid outside, take breaks often and drink plenty of fluids. Yardwork can be intense physical activity, which means your heart is working hard and your body temperature may rise.
Be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness, such as:
- Rapid pulse
- Loss of consciousness
No matter what kind of yardwork you’re doing – from something that takes an hour to something that takes all day – take regular breaks and try to stay in the shade. Be mindful of your body and don’t push yourself too far. Remember: it’s good to get back outside, but not if your yardwork is cut short by an injury.
If you do experience any type of injury from yardwork, visit a GoHealth Urgent Care location near you. We care for injuries 7 days a week and have on-site x-ray available at all locations. Select your location below to find your center: