5 Gardening Safety Tips
Gardening is a great past time to enjoy the outdoors. It is also a good way to have some physical activities while also making the façade of your house looking beautiful. This is especially recommended for the elders, but can be a good bonding moment with your kids as well.
As we teach our kids some helpful tips in ensuring their safety at home such as fire safety tips, it is also recommended to let them be familiar with gardening safety tips so they will grow up loving the environment.
The Importance of Gardening Safety
Gardening is practiced by many to grow different types of plants, flowers and even fruits. Most people consider it as a relaxing way to spend the weekend or end one’s day after a tiring day at work.
While it is a fun activity to do, there are risks involved especially that the activity is done outdoors and exposure to insects and other elements found outside is high. To make this activity a truly fun recreational activity, below are some safety tips to keep you or your family members truly protected while enjoying your time in the garden.
- Dress properly – when you have to perform this task, make sure to dress up appropriately to get yourself protected from various garden insects and pests such as bees. It could help to know how to be safe around bees while gardening. You also need protection from insecticides and pointed or motorized devices that you will need in gardening.
Ensure that you wear proper gardening shoes to protect your feet from sharp objects in the garden and pests that are known to be closer to the ground. Wearing boots is recommended. Wear also long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin from the heat of the sun and insect bites. In wearing your pants, make sure that it is tucked inside your socks to prevent pests or insects from getting inside your clothes.
You should also wear goggles if needed especially if you will be spraying insecticides to your plants. Other chemicals that you will use must be handled properly for your safety.
If you will be using a motorized equipment, your hearing must also be protected if the sound of the machine gets too loud. Wearing gloves is also recommended to prevent skin irritation, cuts, and bites from insects and pests.
Also, part of gearing up when you plan to perform this activity is to use insect repellant for full protection. For sun protection, as mentioned earlier, wearing long sleeves, a hat, and shades will help a lot. It is also recommended to apply sunblock with SPF 15 or higher. SPF stands for sun protective factor. The higher the SPF is, the more it is effective in protecting you from the heat of the sun.
These safety tips are more on using your common sense. However, it’s unfortunate that a lot of gardeners choose to ignore them, thinking that they won’t do much to protect them and/or they’re not needed.
- Ensure your safety at all times – gardening tools, both powered and manual tools, can cause injuries if not handled or used properly. You also must remove barriers and use chemical with care to prevent any untoward incidents.
To ensure your safety, make sure to follow the guidelines provided in using chemicals, machines, and other garden tools that you need. Make sure as well that the tools and equipment that you will use are in good working condition. Inspect them on a regular basis and before use. When you need to sharpen some of your garden tools, do it carefully to prevent cuts. Store chemicals and sharp objects properly and keep them away from children.
- Do not stay outside for too long especially when it is sunny – too much exposure in the sun can cause some critical health issues such as dehydration. Make sure to assess yourself while outside and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
There should be a conscious effort to do this to prevent dehydration. Make sure to only drink water. Avoid caffeinated and carbonated drinks or those that contain big amount of sugar such as coffee and sodas.
Drinking alcohol is also not recommended if you know that you will be staying outdoors for an extended period of time. Do not stay too long outside as well. Take a break as often as possible to freshen up and relax.
When you do this, make sure to stay out of the sun so your body’s temperature can start to cool down. If you experience any difficulty in breathing or if you feel dizzy, stop whatever it is that you are doing and take a rest in a cool and shaded area.
For your safety, it is important to pay close attention to the signs of medical problems related to too much heat exposure such as high body temperature, rapid pulse rate, headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and getting unconscious. Carefully watch over those who are at risk of heat-related sickness including children and older adults aged 65 years old and above.
Overweight people and those who already have some medical conditions are also prone to heat-related sickness so pay attention to them. It is important to prepare for the activity by staying energized and eating healthy food.
- Use appropriate garden tools – in gardening, the use of appropriate tools is necessary. Do not use your bare hands to prevent cuts and getting infected. For example, use a shovel to dig soil and not your hands. Some safety tips when in the farm can also apply and be helpful when you are gardening.
- Avoid extended repetitive actions – unless you are already an expert or have been doing the tasks involved in gardening for a long period of time now, do not perform a certain task for an extended period of time as it will cause muscle pain or spasm. Do not dig for an extended period of time as it can cause your arms to swell and your back to feel some pain.
To prevent this, make sure that your motions are varied. Rotate your gardening tasks every 10 to 15 minutes and take a break in between so your muscles can rest for a few minutes.
These safety tips, while seemingly simple, are very important. They can help you protect yourself and others while gardening. This will allow you to continue gardening for a long time.