Spring is here. Days are longer, temperatures are on the rise and your yard is calling. Whether you live to dig in the dirt, or consider yardwork another household chore, injuries can happen when you weed, plant and mulch – from minor mishaps treatable at home to more serious injuries that require urgent care.
Don’t let yardwork injuries dampen your time outdoors this season. A few simple tips will help keep you and your family safe while your yard flourishes.
1. Keep muscles safe from strain and pain
Regardless of your age or fitness level, strained muscles are a common yardwork injury, especially in spring when dormant muscles are recharging. From digging new garden beds and pulling weeds to clearing debris and mowing the lawn, injuries are more likely to occur when muscles are inflexible or improperly stretched.
Keep your back, shoulders and hips safe from strains or pulls. Before starting yard tasks, stretch your muscles as if preparing for a gym workout. And remember to listen to your body while you work. It’s easy to overdo when you’re in a rush to get your yard in tip-top shape.
2. Use tools safely and correctly
Most yardwork involves some heavy-duty tools that can cause serious injuries. Manual and battery-powered hedge clippers are common culprits if mishandled or misused. To prevent injury while tidying trees and shrubs, wear protective gear including gloves and close-toed shoes. And always read directions before using tools.
Even when you’re careful, accidents can happen. If you or a family member get a cut from hedge clippers or any other tool, stop work immediately and apply a clean bandage to stop the bleeding. If the cut is deep and continues to bleed, you may need stitches and should seek medical care right away at your nearby Immediate Clinic.
3. Protect yourself against sunburn
The sun can damage unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes, even on overcast or chilly days. And while minor sunburns can be treated at home, hours spent in the yard without sun protection can cause a serious burn that may require medical treatment.
The best way to prevent sunburns is to use sunscreen. If you typically work up a sweat in the yard, be sure to reapply regularly. Long sleeves, pants and a hat will also protect your skin from the sun.
Urgent care when you need it
If an injury interrupts your spring yardwork, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment online or walk in to an Immediate Clinic near you. We’re open every day, 8 am to 8 pm, including holidays.