Doing yard work can be hazardous to your health. Although doing chores around the yard has its benefits such as just being outside, getting exercise, a good stress reliever, gets you talking with neighbors, and makes your home look beautiful. It can also bring a certain tragedy if this physical work is not done properly. During the autumn season, there is always something to do around the house.
Listed below are some injuries associated with backyard work:
Mowing the lawn: each year thousands of people are rushed off to the emergency room due to a missing finger, fractured toe, severe cuts and airborne debris causing an eye injury. People with histories of chest, back or joint pain should reconsider mowing, because of the strenuous physical workout and release of allergens of freshly cut grass.
Trimming the hedges: injuries that result in using hedge clippers include cut fingers, electric shocks from damaged extension cords, eye injuries and airborne debris. The hedge trimmer can be a very dangerous garden tool. It is designed to cut through branches and when used carelessly can cause severe accidents such as severed fingers.
Raking leaves: injuries include twisting while raking, straining or overreaching and blistering due to gripping the handle too tightly. Others include bruising, and head and eye injuries in cases of accidently walking onto a rake laying in the grass.
Pulling weeds: physical strain can include back pain, twisting, carpal tunnel, wrist and finger pain, long periods of hand movements and using poorly designed tools, repeated wrist/hand motions.
Planting, hoeing, transplanting and pruning: most prominent injuries include a back injury, “pins and needles” sensation in fingers, reduced grasping strength, cold fingers or numb hands and fingers, repeated wrist motions, long periods of hand movements, using poorly designed tools, pounding or pushing with hands/fingers, and sometimes electrocution due to digging too deep.
Spraying with chemicals: this includes fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. These are associated with allergies, breathing problems (especially those with asthma and other respiratory problems) and even certain types of cancer. And not to mention, they are very harmful to your pets and young children. A recent study has found a connection with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Chainsaw-related injuries: mostly prominent after a severe thunderstorm or other natural disaster, where individuals use chainsaws to take care of fallen trees and branches. The result may be severed fingers, a hand or foot, and deep cuts.
Destroying nests: specifically, hornets and wasps, and bees. Getting stung is an unpleasant sensation, especially for someone who gets an allergic reaction.
Nasty little ticks: if you have trees, tall grass, weeds, you may also have hungry ticks. Before you call it a day with your backyard chores, check yourself for ticks. Ticks transmit Lyme disease, which can lead to fever, headache and rash. Ticks also attach to pets and small children.
Lifting/picking up/carrying: lower back pain is a common injury; another is twisting while lifting, shoulder tendinitis, repetitive motion injury, and shoulder and wrist injury. Altogether, improper lifting causes many injuries.
Falling off a ladder: clearing the gutters can turn tragic if used improperly. Ladder related injuries include falling, broken limbs, cuts, bruises and head injuries.
Climbing on the roof: many of us not dare do this, but seeing leaves, moss, algae and mold growth or other debris only pushes some homeowners to do their own roof maintenance without giving it a second thought to injuries. Walking and climbing on a roof includes injuries such as slip and fall, trip and fall, slippery surface, broken limbs, head injuries and vertigo.
Putting up decorations: they look pretty but the actual activity can cause some injuries such as when lifting, placing, climbing, tripping and falling. Others include electric shock due to exposed wires or faulty plugs. Candles and the menorah look beautiful in the window, but when they are close to curtains and other flammable materials may catch on fire. When putting up holiday ornaments use caution, many delicate and glass ornaments that break into shards of glass or sharp pieces may cause a cut injury or a deep wound. Small children and pets may also be in risk of potential hazard, since they play with and may eat ribbons, tinsel and other materials that may harm some of their internal organs or cause other health problems. Watch out for extension cords which are usually left in high foot traffic and can become a slip and fall hazard.
Injuries can arise at any moment, so take precautionary measures to reduce injuries and accidents. Read our next article on preventing accidents and reducing injuries while doing yard work â coming soon!