Whether you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety are important as you head out to your garden, vegetable plot, or grassy lawn. Gardening can be a great way to get physical activity, beautify the community, and go green. However, it also can expose you to potentially harmful elements, such as the sun, insects, lawn and garden equipment, and chemicals. Below are some health and safety tips for gardeners to follow while enjoying the beauty and bounty gardening can bring:
Dress to protect. Prevent exposure to chemicals, insects, and the sun by wearing the proper clothing, safety equipment, and using an insect repellant and sunscreen.
Put safety first. Limit distractions and follow the labels when using chemicals and equipment. Be aware of possible hazards to lower your risk for injury.
Watch out for heat-related illness. Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.
Know your limits. Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns about your ability to work in the garden safely.
Enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity. Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.
Get vaccinated. Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives. Remember that tetanus lives in soil and all adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years.
Go green. Conserve water, reuse containers, recycle, and share your bounty.