Lawn & Garden Safety Tips
Warm weather and longer days bring many people outside for fun in the sun, as well as to tend to their lawn and gardens. Participating in these activities brings an increased chance for serious hand and upper extremity injuries, especially when using lawn mowers and other garden tools.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 400,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by lawn and garden tools annually. 25,300 people are injured and 75 people are killed on or near riding lawnmowers and garden tractors. Of these deaths, about one out of every five involves a child.
Special precautions should be taken when gardening and working on the lawn to prevent injury. Some recommended safety tips include:
Lawn mowing safety:
- Keep all children away from the area being mowed. The safest place is inside.
- Make sure there are no sticks, stones or other objects that could get in the path of mowing.
- Reach under the mower only when it has been turned off and the blade has completely stopped.
- Refuel the mower only when it has cooled completely.
- Do not give children rides on lawn mowers.
- Wear tight fitting clothing so it does not get caught in machinery.
- Store garden tools in their proper place when they’re not in use.
- Always wear sturdy, close-toed shoes.
- Never alter safety mechanisms on tools and mowers.
- Avoid the sun's rays with a light, long-sleeved shirt and pants, and a straw hat.
- Wear gloves that are pliable with no restriction of movement and padded to avoid the development of calluses.
- Keep tools clean and sharp.
- Use ergonomic tools with grips that fit your hand.
- Provide proper storage of tools to prevent rust or from tripping over them.
- Use a wrist splint if signs of wrist tendonitis develop.
- Poison ivy or poison oak plants should be avoided. Exposure to poisonous plants should be immediately followed with washing hands and effected area.
- Remove splinters or thorns by washing the infected area, removing the object with a magnifying glass and pointed forceps and treating the area with hydrogen peroxide.
- Scrub and trim torn fingernails; apply an antibiotic ointment if necessary.
For more information about the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, please contact 502-587-4799. For additional information on hand care emergencies, call (502) 540-3727.