Staying Safe in the Garden

Whether you’re popping out to clear the borders and put in some new plants, or the kids are out there playing during the school holidays, the garden is a great place to be.

In this article we take a look at some top tips for staying safe and healthy during the summer and making the most of this precious space.

1. Put on Your Sunscreen

We do it when we go to the beach or if we’re abroad but for some reason, it gets neglected in our own gardens. Even if there is plenty of shade, make sure that you have a proper sunscreen handy and use it for you and the kids.

Make sure that you choose sunscreen that is suitable for your skin type. It’s a good idea to also wear a hat outdoors, especially if the sun is really beating down.

2. Protecting Your Body

Gardening is supposed to be one of the best stress-busters out there but it can also put a lot of physical pressure on your body. If you’ve ever stood up with an aching back or found your knee joints have seized up after planting some Azaleas, you’re not alone.

Make sure you have a padded surface to kneel on if you are sorting out the weeds and always use the right gardening equipment for the job at hand.

According to the BBC, nearly 30,000 people a year end up in A&E because of a gardening accident.

Top tips: Ensure you don’t leave sharp objects lying around, wear safety glasses when needed, lock away garden chemicals and ensure all power tools such as lawnmowers or hedge trimmers are well maintained. 

If you are doing a job that requires a ladder then make sure the ladder is properly secured and on stable, flat ground; that you don’t have to extend yourself on the ladder and that you are able to hold on to the ladder safely.

3. Wear Gloves When Gardening

If you’re not a full-time gardener and just dabble now and again, one piece of equipment you really do need is a good pair of sturdy gloves. These will not only keep your hands clean but prevent you picking up germs and bacteria while handling the soil and protect you from thorns and sharp stones.

4. Using Electricity in the Garden

Whether you are mowing the lawn or simply want to get the music out in the garden, trailing an extension cord out into the garden can seem like a good idea but it can also be pretty dangerous.

If it rains, you could end up electrifying the whole garden. If you run over the cord with the lawnmower you could electrocute yourself. Our advice is to avoid using extension cords at all. If you are tempted, make sure you put any cords out of the way so people don’t trip over them and keep an eye on the weather.  Always use an RCD protected device to minimise the risk of shocks should you accidentally run over the cord.

5. Pool Tips and Safety Measures

When the hot weather strikes, the first thing out of the shed is the inflatable swimming pool, especially if you have kids around. While this is a great idea, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind.

·        Place your paddling pool in an area where the ground isn’t likely to get slippery if there’s a bit of splashing.

·        Once you’ve filled up the paddling pool, let it warm up a bit under the sun before you allow the kids to go in.

·        Always have an adult supervising.

·        Empty the pool once you have finished using it

6. BBQ Safety Advice

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get the BBQ out and impress friends and family with your culinary skills. This can be a fun thing to do but does come with some risks:

·        Make sure that you light the BBQ properly and follow the instructions.

·        Keep the BBQ away from overhanging trees or bushes, fences and the home.

·        Always have an adult guarding the BBQ if you have children running around.

·        Make sure you don’t leave raw food, especially meat, poultry and fish, out in the warm sun. Keep indoors and cool until you are ready to cook.

·        Wear appropriate clothing when cooking on the BBQ.

·        Ensure the flames are properly extinguished before you leave the BBQ unattended

7. Secure Gates and Fences

Finally, if you have children or pets and live near a busy road, make sure that the kids understand where they can and can’t go and have the gates closed to deter those who suddenly decide to have a wander.

Let us know your top tips for staying safe in the garden @BelvoirUK

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