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Be Healthy and Safe in the Garden

Posted Apr 25 2011 10:07pm

woman
A CDC Feature Article

Whether you are a beginner or expert, health and safety are important as you head out to your garden, vegetable plot, or lawn. Gardening can be a great way to get physical activity, beautify the community, and go green. However, it is important to protect yourself and take precautions as you work and play in the sun and around insects, lawn and garden equipment, and chemicals.

Dress to protect.
Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, insects, and the sun by wearing the proper clothing, and safety equipment.
Use an insect repellant and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection.
Always check your clothes and body for ticks.
Wear a hat with a wide rim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.

Know your limits in the heat.
Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems.
Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illness.
Schedule outdoor activities carefully, and pace yourself. Use common sense.

Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water.
Whatever your outdoor activity, have water on hand to decrease the chance of dehydration.
Avoid beverages with alcohol and drinks high in sugar, and stay away from caffeinated and carbonated beverages.

Put safety first.
Be aware of possible hazards to prevent for injury.
Read all instructions and labels before using chemicals and operating equipment.
Check equipment before each use.
Limit distractions while using equipment.

Enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity.
Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.
Adults should get 2½ hours per week of physical activity.

Persons with disabilities and physical activity.
Engage in regular physical activity based on abilities and avoid inactivity.
Adults with disabilities should consult their health care provider about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.
Physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.
Get activity tips for a specific disability or condition.

Get vaccinated.
Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives.
Remember that tetanus lives in soil and all adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years.

Go green.
Conserve water, reuse containers, recycle, and share your bounty.
Eye-catching gardens and landscapes that save water, prevent pollution, and protect the environment can be achieved.

Keep your yard clear.
Remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, and toys. Mosquitoes can breed in them within days.
Clearing trees and brush in your yard can reduce the likelihood that deer, rodents, and ticks will live there.


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