Whilst gardening is a fantastic hobby, it is not without its own risks.
Labouring in the garden under a hot sun (remember that?) brings sunburn and heat stroke and maybe muscle strains too. Many of the tools used are sharp and often more than a little rusty which poses problems when you cut yourself. Not only that, many of the plants themselves are somewhat irritant to the skin, causing rashes and blisters and other irritations. Soil also contains the tetanus bacteria and so gardeners are more at risk of acquiring tetanus via cuts to the skin.
Like all things in life, prevention is better than cure but how many of us think we might get hurt in the garden – unless of course we are wielding a chain saw about in a frenzy!
There is of course a recipe for ensuring you stay fit and well in the garden and it involves the following:
First take one human body
Apply the appropriate clothing; long legged trousers and long sleeve shirts to prevent scratches and bites
Undertake some gentle stretching exercises to warm up the muscles
Fill up a water bottle and take it out to the garden
Apply liberal quantities of sunscreen to exposed areas of skin
Check tools are clean and ready for use
Apply a hat
You should be ready to undertake the gardening now, just ensure you don’t overdo it!
Joking aside, if you do get any small cuts and scratches whilst gardening it is very important that you clean them thoroughly with warm water and that you cover them with a suitable dressing before continuing with your work. This is because there are a whole host of bacteria that live in the soil and which can be found on plants via bird droppings etc. These can cause some extremely nasty skin infections which can make you very ill.
In addition BBC Scotland recently reported a rare outbreak of legionnella linked to handling compost. So the advice is to consider wearing gloves when handling potting compost.