Things can happen to you in the garden. As we go into the third day of what might turn out to be a five day heat wave, our first for 2013, it’s something that we might want to remember. So, it’s always best to use caution and protection when undertaking any tasks, even the most mundane and ordinary.
Protective gear no gardener should be without includes, but is not limited to:
• Gloves – preferably tight-fitting to allow you to grasp and use tools; waterproof or water-resistant; puncture resistant (nitrile)
• Hat – wide-brimmed; cool straw, cotton or nylon material
• Clothing – loose fitting, airy; shirts long sleeved, pants long-legged; light colors
• Shoes – waterproof or water-resistant, (no bare feet or sandals); socks (protect your feet, dirt will get into your shoes)
• Kneepads – large padded knee cup, sized properly to avoid pinch when bending, (try a pair on before buying)
• Particle-dust mask/goggles – mask for allergy sufferers; goggles to protect against flying debris
• Sunglasses – wraparound style; protect your eyes against ultraviolet radiation
• Sunscreen – use a broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher
• Mosquito repellant – use sprays, wear bands or directly spray yard (beware of effect on pollinating and other beneficial insects)
• Stay hydrated, have plenty of water on hand, avoid sports drinks or sugary beverages
Gardeners and other outdoor enthusiasts are reminded by the American Cancer Society and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap when outdoors; slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, slap on a hat and wrap your eyes with sunglasses. The Council has provided these tips to stay safe:
• Do not allow yourself to burn or tan
• Seek shade
• Wear sun-protective clothing
• Apply sunscreen liberally
• Get Vitamin D requirement, safely
As we’re forecasted to have at least three more days of above 90° weather, remember to enjoy outdoor activities in the early morning and early evening hours and avoid that hot period between 10am and 4pm.
The American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer and that there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma and more than two million new cases of basal and squamous skin cancers in the U.S.
Source: The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
The American Cancer Society
Outdoor and Sun Safety Links