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Oct21

Fall yard safety: 3 tips to avoid injuries

Leaves are dropping and fall cleanup is calling. With the perks of summer gardening behind us, it’s time to break out the rakes, rev up the power tools and tackle debris-filled gutters.

As you check off autumn yard tasks from your list, just make sure you're taking precautions to keep you and your little ones safe.

Here are three ways to avoid fall yard injuries:

1. Dress appropriately.

Fall yard chores involve manual labor, so be sure to dress for the occasion.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants to protect against harmful plants, scrapes from branches, bug bites and the sun. As little as 15 minutes of unprotected exposure can cause damage, even on cooler autumn days.
     
  • Avoid loose clothing or jewelry that can become caught in equipment.
     
  • Choose sturdy shoes with slip-free soles. Steel-toed boots or other protective footwear can protect you from dropped objects and a potential broken toe or foot.
     
  • Wear proper eye covering, heavy gloves and hearing protection when using loud or motor-driven equipment.

2. Use ladders safely and correctly.

Many yardwork injuries treated at urgent care and emergency centers are the result of falling off of ladders and stools. When you use a ladder to clean gutters, hang holiday decorations or wash windows, always take proper safety precautions.

  • Read and follow ladder instructions carefully, including essential safety measures such as how to extend the ladder and stabilize its base.
     
  • Always have someone with you to hold the base of the ladder and to get help quickly if you do take a spill.
     
  • Know when you’ve stretched the limits of safety. If you feel like you are doing something unsafe, you probably are. When the job’s too big – and dangerous – hire a professional.

3. Keep an eye out for the kiddos.

Little ones love to help with yardwork, and child-size rakes and shovels are awesome tools for small hands. But some tasks are just too dangerous. Let the kids take part in the simple tasks, but make sure they’re clear of the yard when you’re using dangerous or powered equipment.

  • Ensure your children and neighborhood kids know they should never approach tractors, mowers or other tools, whether idle or in use.
     
  • Even after you share the lesson on respecting yard tools, always keep an eye out for kids whenever powered equipment is in use. You may not be able to hear them approach or call out to you while you're operating a mower or tractor.

Even when everyone’s careful, yard mishaps still happen. If you, a family member or neighbor experience a minor injury, seek medical treatment right away at your nearby  Indigo Urgent Care.

Our friendly medical professionals are here to offer immediate care and get you feeling better and back in the yard in no time. 

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