Warm weather and longer days bring many people outside for fun in the sun, including tending to their lawns 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.
Special precautions should be taken when gardening and working on the lawn to prevent injury. We’ve gathered a few recommended safety tips to keep in mind while working on the yard.
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, long pants and a 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 tendinitis 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.
To learn more about the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, contact 502.540.3727.