Spring is in full bloom, and now is the time to tend to your garden! Follow these safety tips to prevent gardening injuries:
- Wear gloves: Gloves will reduce blistering and protect your skin from fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria and fungus that live in the soil. When exposed to soil, even small cuts can turn into a hand infection.
- Rotate tasks: Repetitive motions such as digging, raking, trimming, pruning or planting can cause skin, tendon or nerve irritation. Rotate tasks every 15 minutes and take brief rests between so the same muscles are not used over and over again.
- Use tools: Do not use your hands to to dig. Sharp objects and debris in the soil can cut or puncture the hand. Use a hand shovel or a rake.
- Check your posture: Keep your wrist in a relaxed or neutral position when using tools as opposed to bent. This keeps grip strength at its maximum and requires less pressure to control the tool.
- Use caution when climbing a ladder: Always have someone holding the ladder as you climb, and make sure the ladder is on even ground. If pruning needs to be performed higher up on a tree, consider hiring a service.
Learn more about gardening safety, including when to visit the emergency room, at www.handcare.org.