Gardening can be one of the greatest, most pleasurable hobbies. The fresh air, exercise and beautiful or edible products of all that hard work have made gardening a favorite pastime with many people. However, with all the benefits come some dangers, so some precautions should be taken to ensure the gardener has a safe, pleasurable gardening experience.
Dress for Safety
Dressing for safety in gardening does not mean wearing hard hats and reflective vests. Instead, the gardener should dress for the weather, for the task, for comfort and for protection. Let’s look at clothing options in depth:
- Wear comfortable shoes. Sandals should not be worn when gardening because wood chips, thistles and dirt can easily enter the sandal and cause you pain. Additionally, sandals provide little protection if tools are dropped on your foot. Closed-toed, comfortable shoes (to avoid blisters) are better suited for gardening tasks.
- Wear gloves. Plants are pretty, but they can be a little prickly, especially when dried or dead. Wearing gloves in all garden tasks will protect you from scratches, deep cuts and skin irritants.
- Wear sunscreen. Sun exposure is a perk of gardening, but too much sun could cause sunburns or skin cancer. High SPF sunscreen can protect you from the sun’s rays, but sun protection should not end there. Additionally, wearing long sleeves, long pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can further protect you.
- Ward off the bugs. Insect repellent can help make your gardening more pleasurable and can help protect you from insect-borne illnesses.
- Wear safety glasses. For activities that will send particles flying, like using the weed eater, wearing safety goggles is advised.
Chemicals and Tools
Chemicals and fools can be very dangerous when not used properly. Always make sure you understand the dangers in any tool you are operating and any chemicals you are using. Before using a power tool, make sure everything is in order and in proper working condition. Tools should also be sharp, but be careful to follow instructions when sharpening tools, maintaining tools and using tools. Chemical instructions should also be followed carefully, and chemicals should always be stored out of children’s reach.
Heat and Exhaustion
When gardening, it is important to watch out for heat stroke and exhaustion. Working under the hot sun can make you more prone to heat related illnesses, but following these tips can help you stay safe:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sports drinks can also replenish any fluids you lose, but you should avoid alcohol, caffeine, carbonation and sugar.
- Take breaks often. Short breaks out of the heat and sun can help you maintain a healthy body temperature.
- Watch out for signs of heat stroke, sun stroke and exhaustion. These can include high body temperature, rapid or weak pulse, headache, dizziness, confusion or nausea.
- Eat healthy, low-fat foods throughout the day. Eating well throughout the day will keep you energized and decrease your chance of exhaustion.
Gardening is a great activity that can keep you in shape and beautify your home, all while you enjoy the products of your efforts. Following just a few tips and tricks can help you stay safe and enjoy your hobby.