Key Tips To Prevent Common Gardening Injuries
Gardening is a wonderful hobby that allows you to get some fresh air, connect with nature, and grow beautiful plants and vegetables. However, gardening can also be physically demanding and potentially dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. It is very easy to get hurt or worse, sustain an injury that will keep you inside recovering. In this article and in the interview that follows, are a list of key tips to prevent common gardening injuries, key tools every gardener should own and a few common sense things to remember, to help make gardening more enjoyable!
Key Tools Every Gardener Should Own
One way to do this is by using the right tools. In this article, I’ll also cover some helpful tools that can help you stay safe while gardening. You don’t need to go broke buying tools and gear but it is important not to go overboard and buy every little gadget out there either! One tool most people neglect to think about is this handy tool sharpener pictures below by CoronaTools. It is inexpensive and fits into your pocket so you can always begin your project with sharp tools!
Gardening gloves, long sleeved natural fiber shirts, long sleeved pants, cotton socks, comfortable shoes, hat, lip protection, sunscreen and insect repellant should be staples in your basic garden gear.
- Dress the part! If you are going to do yard work of any kind, wear the appropriate attire. Don’t douse yourself with perfume, put on a sexy dress and high heels. You are going to be outside with insects who love the sweetness of any fragrance which will make you a human feast for mosquitos. If you really want to glam it up, buy some designer sunglasses and put on your favorite gloss!
- The same goes for the men who want to go shirtless and barefoot. It’s a great way to invite sun poisoning, make your skin vulnerable to poison ivy and if you are mowing the lawn, possibly lose a few toes. The number of incidents each year of people sustaining foot injuries because they neglected to wear shoes is outrageous, yet people continue to mow the lawn in their bare feet. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates more than 37,000 Americans suffer a power mower-related injury each year.
Your basic tool kit should have the following: knee pad, tool belt or apron, hand trowel, wheelbarrow, gardening cart, water wand, sharp pruning shears, knife or box cutter, and loppers. Depending upon your activity or project, you should layout the tools you need and make sure to clean them once you are done for the day with rubbing alcohol and a clean cotton cloth.
Make A Plan
- Create a mini road map so that you can focus on one area of the garden at a time.
- Time yourself and take frequent breaks, so that you don’t overdo it.
- Remove any debris or obstacles, fill holes in the lawn and survey the area you will be working on that may cause potential injury.
- Be on the lookout for nests. Yellow jackets love to create nests where you least expect them and do not like to be disturbed.
- Keep bottles of water nearby. It is important to hydrate. The Yeti pictured below will keep your water cold even during the extremely hot temperatures.
- Make sure that you have enough trash bags or waste receptacles for anything that needs to be discarded.
- Keep your phone or tell a friend that you will be working in the yard if you are working alone.
- Spend a few minutes stretching before you begin and then after you are done. This is a workout, regardless of how fit you may be.
- When you are done using a tool, put it back in your tool bag, chair or table so you won’t forget to bring it back to your shed or garage. For shovels, loppers, rakes, etc. lean them up against something so that you don’t trip over them.
- Enjoy being outside. Gardening is supposed to reconnect you with the earth.
Ocular Injuries Are Not As Uncommon As You Might Think
In a paper titled, Epidemiology Of Ocular Injuries Associated With Landscaping Tools, a total of 168,845 ocular injuries were associated with landscaping activities with the majority of cases occurring in men (80.4%) between the ages of 41–60 during the summer months of June, July, and August.
The majority of ocular injuries did not require admission (97.8%) but of those that were admitted 42% had an open globe injury (n = 399).
This study was published Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, October, 2022 by Authors: Marko Oydanich MD, MS, John Yan MD, Aditya Uppuluri MD, Marco A. Zarbin MD, PhD, Neelakshi Bhagat MD, MPH.
It just goes to show how easy it is to sustain a serious injury while doing something you love. Safety should always be paramount. If you are using any kind of electric or gas powered tool, you should always wear safety goggles or other means of protection.
Garden Injury Statistics
Although there is not a great deal of current research specifically about garden injury statistics, what is available is still concerning. The last major research regarding garden injuries was conducted in 2002 by The Department of Trade and Industry’s Home Accident Surveillance System. The figures show that about 300,000 people are hurt in their gardens each year seriously enough to go to hospital. Interestingly, 110,000 of them are children. Around 87,000 are injured actively gardening or carrying out DIY jobs in the garden. Over two decades later, the numbers must be staggering.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
- Men have more accidents in the garden than women and, apart from children, people aged 30 to 60 are most likely to be injured.
- The most common accident in a garden is a fall (115,000), but the biggest threat to people actually gardening is a cut (19,000), then falls (18,000) and being struck by things (12,600).
Watch The Interview
In this segment of That’s The Story, hosted by June Stoyer, who is a Master Gardener and Consulting Rosarian, Susan Fox, from Gagasgarden.com to will share key tips to prevent common gardening injuries so you can enjoy the outdoors and not get stuck inside this garden season. Susan will also share her story about how she injured not one but both eyes. Even a professional can sustain serious injuries!
“That’s The Story” is a new internet-based talk-radio show hosted by June Stoyer which features top industry leaders, scientists and innovators that discuss important issues pertaining the environment and the world we live in. The show can be found on iTunes, Amazon, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and all major podcasting providers or by going directly to the show’s website.
The complete archives are available at That’s The Story Podcast Archives. The talk show, created by the producers of The Organic View Radio Show, which reached a global audience of over 3 million listeners, focuses on similar issues. The show can be found on all major podcast providers or by going directly to the show’s website.
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