They say that gardening is good for the soul. And there’s nothing more relaxing than picking, pruning and planting away sunny afternoons in your very own backyard. For some, gardening is a pleasure and a hobby, for other’s it’s a way to connect with their grandchildren and even as a way to cut costs on fruit and vegetables.
But did you know that this familiar pastime can be incredibly dangerous? It’s difficult to imagine your life being at risk in your family garden, but the truth is that many of these dangers are well hidden and hiding in plain sight.
Here we’ll explore the hidden dangers in your garden and reveal the biggest risks to you and your family.
When you work hard keeping your borders in order and your beds in fine shape, the last thing you want is an influx of weeds ruining all your hard work. This is usually when some gardeners turn to herbicides to tackle the problem to protect their prize plants. Sadly, many gardeners don’t realise how dangerous these chemicals can be – click the link for the dangers of inadvertently inhaling Roundup – and end up suffering from consequential illnesses and potentially being poisoned after too much exposure. It’s always better to consider more natural ways to tackle the weeds in your garden!
Cuts and scrapes
Pricking your hands and fingers on prickly, thorny plants, or cutting yourself on your gardening tools. These don’t sound like catastrophic injuries, however, if the cuts are particularly deep then they could be debilitating. Gardeners should also be wary of a tetanus infection caused by rusty and dirty gardening tools, if this infection goes unchecked then it can prove fatal. Make sure you’re up to date with your tetanus vaccines and always wear gardening gloves!
Handling poisonous plants
Whether you’re an avid gardener or you regularly have your children/grandchildren in your back yard, you should be wary of the poisonous plants that could be hidden in your garden. Lily of the valley, Wisteria, Hydrangeas and even Rhubarb can be toxic and poisonous when ingested. So, be wary of the plants your children (and pets) are playing near.
Physically hurting yourself
Digging in the soil, lifting heavy loads, crouching, bending and pulling up those weeds, gardening is physically demanding which is why you should exercise caution and not overexert yourself. Pulled muscles, repetitive strain injuries and back problems are common amongst gardeners. Always take regular breaks and stretch properly before taking on any manual work.
And finally, sun exposure
Most gardeners enjoy tending to their backyards when the sun is shining, and when the soil is dry. Long afternoons spent in your garden sound lovely, however, gardeners should be wary of prolonged sun exposure. Heatstroke, sunburn and dehydration are common when spending long hours in the hot sun. So, gardeners should ensure that they’re wearing proper sun protection, keep themselves cool, remember to reapply sunscreen, drink plenty of water and take regular breaks.