Summertime and warmer weather is here Kansas City! It’s time to get outside and make our yards beautiful.
Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, the weather, and get some physical activity. However, without proper precautions, you could find yourself looking for an orthopedic walk-in clinic!
There are a few easy, simple steps you can take to protect yourself to prevent injury.
Avoid Summer Injuries with Gardening Safety in Kansas City
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commision, there are 400,000 visits to emergency rooms from outdoor garden tool related accidents. Let’s review some safety techniques to prevent a visit to your local ER.
Gloves not only protect your skin from blisters, but can protect skin from chemicals, bacteria and fungus in the soil. A minor cut can turn into a major hand infection if exposed to soil.
Use Proper Tools
Proper tools for the proper job! Before purchasing your new set of pruners, loppers or shears, make sure they fit your hands comfortably. Not all hands are the same size. Also, make sure the tools have a safety lock. Use your tools to dig, not your hands, to protect from potentially sharp objects.
Repetitive motions such as digging, raking, trimming, or pruning can cause skin, tendon, or even nerve irritation. Take breaks and rotate tasks every 15 minutes or so to prevent overuse injury. You should also be taking extended breaks when possible.
Check your wrist “posture”
Check the angle of your wrist while using hand tools. Grip strength is at its maximum when the wrist is in a relaxed or neutral position. Studies have shown that people lose up to 25% of their grip strength when their wrist is bent.
Do you have an injury from gardening?
Seek medical care if any of these apply:
- Continuous pressure does not stop bleeding after 15 minutes
- You notice persistent numbness or tingling in the fingertip or have trouble moving a finger
- You are unsure of your tetanus immunization status
- You are unable to thoroughly clean a wound by rinsing with a mild soap and plenty of clean water
Now that you’re armed with the right tips, you can truly enjoy your outdoor time while gardening! And if you do find yourself injured, head to Apex Orthopedics in Kansas City and we’ll be able to properly treat you.
Information provided by American Society of Surgery of the Hand.