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Take One Step > Posts > Gardening Health and Safety Tips
Gardening Health and Safety Tips
Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. Whether you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety are always important.  Below are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy so that you can enjoy the beauty and bounty gardening can bring.
 Dress to protect.
Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and harmful rays of too much sun.
• Wear sturdy shoes, and long pants when using lawn mowers and other machinery.
• Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm's length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
• Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.
• Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Use insect repellent containing DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.
• Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
 Put safety first.
Powered and unpowered tools and equipment can cause serious injury. Limit distractions, use chemicals and equipment properly, and be aware of hazards to lower your risk for injury.
• Follow instructions and warning labels on chemicals and lawn and garden equipment.
• Make sure equipment is working properly.
• Sharpen tools carefully.
• Keep harmful chemicals, tools, and equipment out of children's reach.
 Enjoy the benefits of physical activity.
Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity. Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.
• Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles. You can burn 150 calories by gardening (standing) for approximately 30-45 minutes. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
• If you have been inactive, start out with just a few minutes of physical activity each day. Gradually build up time and intensity.
• Vary your gardening activities to keep your interest and to broaden the range of benefits.
Page Located on the Web at http://www.cdc.gov/family/gardening/

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