Gardening Safety Tips

This time of year, Minnesotans flock to the outdoors to soak up that beautiful sunshine they waited all winter for. For many, it’s a great time to get the garden going or tackle other yardwork or outdoor projects. This can be a good way to get fresh air and exercise, but it’s important to keep safety in mind as well.

Here are a few tips:

Beware of unexpected rodent holes and other obstacles. Before you begin any big projects, survey the lawn and garden areas and check carefully for holes left by burrowing creatures. Fill them in as soon as possible to prevent tripping hazards. Clean up any debris, such as twigs and rocks, that could cause stumbling.

Work in good lighting. At early dawn and at dusk, it can be very difficult to see your path clearly, which can lead to tripping or falling. Instead, stick to hours when the sun is bright enough to see your environment well. If you are hosting guests in the backyard or on the deck at night, consider adding plenty of lighting, especially near steps.

Use walking sticks. If you have a big yard and it’s rather uneven, walking sticks can make it a little easier to cross the terrain. They are sold at most sporting good stores.

Don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get caught up in a project and realize many hours have passed. This can lead to dehydration and sore muscles. Try to take a break every hour to stretch and rehydrate. If you are getting too warm, wait until the cooler hours of the day to finish the project or split the task up into several days.

Wear good shoes. It may be tempting to slip on some sandals, but having good footwear is important if you will be on uneven surfaces or on your feet for long periods. Sneakers with good treads and solid ankle support are usually the best option.

Ask for help. If you have balance difficulties, be extra cautious, and if you don’t feel safe doing a project, ask a friend or family member to help out. People with dizziness or imbalance with tasks such as gardening also may benefit from vestibular therapy. Visit www.stopdizziness.com to find out more.

You can find more garden safety tips in this article: http://www.fdlreporter.com/story/life/home-garden/2016/05/09/keep-your-gardening-season-safe-one/84133846/

National Dizzy & Balance Center has a medical team, doctors of audiology and specialized physical therapists at four clinics throughout the Twin Cities metro area. They can use tests to determine what is causing your balance problems and provide treatments to improve it.  Make an appointment today!