Your garden might look picture perfect on a warm day in the middle of spring. But hiding behind all those rows of colourful flowers and beautifully-trimmed hedges are some serious hazards – bad news if you have kids!
Heat exhaustion and stroke are two prevalent symptoms of merely being outside on a hot day. While that’s unlikely this time of year (unless you live in the southern hemisphere), it is still a significant risk. Being outside toiling in the garden between 11 am and 3 pm can lead to a dangerous condition in which your body struggles to regulate its internal temperature, leaving you feeling exhausted, washed out and even struggling for breath.
If you do work in the garden during the middle of the day, make sure that you wear a big hat that covers your face and neck, and regularly sip cold drinks.
Tetanus is now a rare disease, thanks to vaccinations, but you can still catch it if you’re unlucky. Tetanus bacteria live in the soil and gets into wounds on the hands and feet, causing a terrible infection that spreads throughout the body.
You typically get tetanus while handling rust garden too. The bacteria, once inside the body, release poisonous byproducts that can leave you feeling very unwell indeed.
Trees in your garden might look pretty, but they’re also a significant danger to both people and property. Trees with branches hanging off them or trunks that are about to crack could topple at any moment, crushing anything in their path as they fall.
If you have recently had a storm in your area, check your trees to assess the damage. If you’re not sure whether a particular tree is safe, call a tree surgeon and get them to take a look at it. They’ll analyze the integrity of the trunk and let you know whether it is a fall risk or not.
Gardens are home to standing water that can harbour the deadly legionella pneumonia bacteria – the type of pathogen that causes Legionnaire’s disease. The bacteria like to live in places that are warm and moist, such as the tiny holes in your sprinkler. It is most common between the months of July and September in the northern hemisphere.
The best way to avoid it is to regularly clean any garden equipment with warm soapy water and then leave it in direct sunlight to dry. The UV rays from the sun denature the bacteria, making them unviable.
Crawling around on muddy flower beds and digging up dirt with your trowel is a recipe for back pain, especially if you are over a certain age. Entrepreneurs, however, have come up with a range of products that reduce the amount that you must stoop while gardening. Nothing, however, beats keeping a good posture as you go about your chores.
Your garden, therefore, harbours more dangers than you might otherwise think. While the risks are minimal, they’re not non-existent. Be safe out there.