Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. If you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety should always be a priority. Southeastern Indiana REMC is here to make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy, so you can enjoy the beauty and fruition that gardening can bring.
Put Safety First
Powered and unpowered tools and equipment can cause serious injury. Limit distractions, use chemicals and equipment properly, and be aware of hazards to lower your risk for injury.
- Follow instructions and warning labels on chemicals and lawn and garden equipment.
- Make sure equipment is working properly.
- Sharpen tools carefully.
- Keep harmful chemicals, tools, and equipment out of children’s reach.
Dress to Protect
Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and harmful rays of too much sun.
- Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and long pants to prevent injury when using power tools and equipment.
- Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
- Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET. Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.
- Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
Know Your Limits
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.
- If you’re outside in hot weather for most of the day you’ll need to make an effort to drink more fluids, especially water.
- Avoid drinking liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, especially in the heat.
- Take breaks often. Try to rest in shaded areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover. Stop working if you experience breathlessness or muscle soreness.
- Pay attention to signs of heat-related illness, including extremely high body temperature, headache, rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness.
- Watch people who are at higher risk for heat-related illness, including infants and children up to four years of age; people 65 years of age or older; people who are overweight; people who push themselves too hard during work or exercise; and people who are physically ill or who take certain medications.
- Eat healthy foods to help keep you energized.
During planting season, farmers work long hours. Remember to get plenty of rest and take frequent breaks. Accidents are more likely to happen when you are fatigued.
- Tell family and coworkers where you’ll be working. Keep your mobile phone handy at all times in case of emergencies or accidents.
- Maintain farm equipment. Inspect your equipment before you get out in the field to ensure everything is working properly.
- Ensure safely reflective tape and slow-moving vehicle emblems are clean and visible to drivers.
- If you are digging in a new or unfamiliar area, call 811 before you dig to have the area marked for any underground wires.
Source: Center for Disease Control