Keeping your yard green and groomed can be a rewarding springtime activity. But it’s important to mind your safety in the process. Take a look at these safety tips before you take on your lawn this season:
Dress the Part
Dressing properly is an important step in ensuring lawn care safety.
• Make sure your shoes are closed-toe and durable for foot protection and better balance.
• Always wear a broad-rimmed hat.
• Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. The National Institutes of Health recommends that you reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes.
• Protect your eyes from flying debris with safety glasses.
• Use lawn and garden gloves for hand protection and a more secure grip.
Spring is mosquito season; so don’t forget to apply plenty of bug repellent before hitting the yard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellent containing DEET, picaridin or even oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Educate Yourself on Equipment
Before taking the helm of heavy lawn care, be sure you understand how to use your lawn equipment properly.
Most lawn equipment comes with manuals and instructive labels to ensure users know how to operate the machinery safely. Never assume that all types of lawn tools are alike.
If you are using lawn care chemicals, such as pesticides and weed killer, read the labels carefully before use. The labels explain how to use the product while giving helpful information on safe storage, first aid and whom to call in case of an accident.
While you're at it, consider switching to environmentally products, which are safer and often just as effective.
Heed the Heat
It may not be summer yet, but seasons don’t always cooperate. That summer heat may drop in a little early this year. And anyone over the age of 65 is at a higher risk for heat-related illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Remember these tips:
• Limit your time in the yard to the morning or early evening hours.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Take frequent breaks in shady areas.
• Avoid alcoholic beverages before working.
Know Your Limits
When working in the yard, always pay attention to how you feel. If you have a minor physical ailment, such as arthritis, or your balance isn’t as good as it used to be, consider asking a friend or family member for assistance with heavier equipment.
Or call a professional service to take care of the bigger jobs.
Pay attention to possible signs of heat exhaustion, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and rapid heart rate.
And be aware of any medications you are taking that may impair your ability to use machinery. It’s good to speak with your doctor before engaging in certain types of outdoor work.
Don’t sacrifice your health and wellness for a well-groomed lawn. By putting safety first, you can maintain both a beautiful lawn and your well-being.