5 tips to stay safe in the garden
Gardening is a great way to practice social distancing, enjoy some fresh air and get the upper hand on weeds and overgrown foliage. Whether you’re a master gardener or a weekend putterer, cultivating your backyard plot can be therapeutic and gratifying. But like any activity, gardening in the great outdoors can also bring physical hazards.
Here are 5 tips to keep you safe and healthy in the garden.
1. Make safety a priority
Follow all instructions and warning labels on chemicals and garden equipment. Use safe, clean tools and toss any damaged ones. Always keep harmful chemicals, tools and equipment out of children’s reach. And be sure to wash your hands when you’re done gardening, even if you have been wearing gloves.
2. Listen to your body
Rotate tasks like weeding and pruning to avoid repetitive-motion injuries. And watch your back when lifting heavy objects. Bend at the knees and hips and rely on your leg muscles. Feeling pain or strain? Take a break.
3. Make sure you’re covered
Wear gloves, a hat and clothing that’s lightweight and covers your arms and legs to protect from scratches, bugs, sunburn and plants that could cause an allergic reaction.
Spray on insect repellent for added protection against stings and bites. Certain insects can be carriers of diseases. Ticks, for example, carry at least a dozen infections, including Lyme Disease. If you do sustain a bite, keep an eye on the affected area to ensure it heals properly.
4. Beat the heat
If you’re working in direct sunlight or during warmer temperatures, be sure to take frequent breaks to hydrate, and rest in the shade to reset your body’s thermostat. Stop what you’re doing if you notice signs of heat-related illness, including high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea or confusion.
5. Get vaccinated
If it’s been more than 10 years since your last tetanus shot, you’re due for a booster. The vaccine will better protect you against infections if you do have a run-in with a rusty pair of pruning shears.
When to visit urgent care
If your garden Zen is interrupted by an injury or other medical issue, visit a nearby Indigo Urgent Care clinic. We’re here when you need us, 8 am to 8 pm every day of the week, even holidays.
We’re taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 season to observe social distancing guidelines, minimize your time in our clinics and ensure you have a safe visit, no matter what type of injury or illness you may have.