Regardless of whether you garden for pleasure, profit or both, be sure to use the necessary safety habits and equipment to help keep the results of your activity pleasurable. Just as with any enjoyable activity, gardening can quickly turn tragic when basic safety guidelines aren’t followed.

Gardening injuries happen every year and range from knee and back strain to eye, ear and skin damage. Some sources of injury come as no surprise while others can catch even the most seasoned gardener unaware.

Gardening Hazards

In addition to injury from simply overextending ourselves, other common safety hazards while gardening include:

  • Poisonous plants “” One woman in Seattle found herself in the ER after a Euphorbia plant shot poisonous sap into her eye.
  • Gardening chemicals “” Many chemicals can seriously damage eyes and skin as well as cause illness if ingested.
  • Sun damage “” Sun exposure can damage skin and lead to skin cancer and early signs of aging. It can also harm eyes and result in eye disease and permanent loss of sight.
  • Foreign body “” Anything from bugs, blades of grass and dirt can fly into eyes while gardening even if you’re extremely careful. In some cases, these elements can also irritate your skin.
  • Gardening tools “” An Arizona man suffered eye damage after he dropped his pruning shears point side down, leaned down to grab them, and fell on them face first. The shears became lodged in his head and had to be surgically removed.
  • Hearing damage “” Motorized equipment such as lawn tractors, weed eaters and leaf blowers can cause cumulative damage to unprotected ears.
  • Cuts & abrasions “” The hands probably receive the most cuts and abrasions when gardening for obvious reasons, but arms and face also get them often too.

Gardening Protection

Fortunately, preventing gardening injuries comes through some very simple and inexpensive solutions. Consider the following options:

  • Splash goggles “” Goggles offer comprehensive protection when working with gardening chemicals or poisonous plants. Even something as simple and inexpensive as the Pyramex G204 Indirect Vent Goggle with Clear Anti-Fog Lens can provide quick and easy protection for those few times a season you’re handling chemicals.
  • Wrap-around sunglasses “” There are a lot of safety sunglasses available to provide impact protection along with protection from the sun. The wrap-around style guards not only against UV rays but also helps keep foreign bodies like grass, dirt and bugs away from eyes too.
  • Hearing protection “” While lawn equipment may not seem too loud, it can cause cumulative damage. Be sure to protect your hearing with earmuffs or earplugs, especially when using or near noisy equipment on a regular basis.
  • Gloves “” Not just for the workplace, quality gloves like the PIP G-Tek Maxiflex Ultimate Gloves contour to your hands to help maintain dexterity and protect hands at the same time.
  • Basic skin protection “” Make a habit of wearing sunscreen, brimmed hats and bug spray. Also consider whether wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants might provide you with the best protection for the gardening task you’ll be tackling next.

While you’re considering safety in the garden, don’t forget to monitor pets and children too. Let’s keep gardening something everyone can enjoy safely!