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Make it a garden of happiness, not danger. health beat 2022

A person holds a shovel in one hand and a vase in the other.  Person puts on gardening gloves and stands outside.
Protect yourself while gardening. There are more dangers in the soil than you expect. (for spectrum health beat)

What’s not to like about gardening? It beautifies your home, produces great food, plus it’s relaxing, reducing stress and a fun calorie-burner.

But it is not without its dangers.

“Many outdoor diseases can be avoided with clothing and precaution,” said Christina Falsing, MD, infectious disease specialist at Spectrum Health Medical Group. “Prevention is the key to avoiding problems.”

prevention of infection

To protect yourself from diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks, use insect repellent containing DEET and wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants tied in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots as ticks are usually located closer to the ground.

It is also important to stay up-to-date about your tetanus/diphtheria vaccination. Tetanus lives in the soil and enters the body through wear and tear in the skin.

“Gardeners are especially susceptible to tetanus infection because they dig up dirt, use sharp tools, and handle plants with sharp points,” Dr. Fahlsing said.

Roundworms and other nematodes inhabit most soils and some are parasitic. The biggest risk is from eating eggs on vegetables, so don’t pull carrots and eat them in the garden.

Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water before handling food.

Wash, peel or cook all raw vegetables and fruits before eating them, especially those grown in soil fertilized with compost. Wearing shoes and gloves in the garden also helps prevent infection.

Look at those punctures. Sporotrichosis is an infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenki. The fungus enters the skin through small cuts or pores from thorns, thorns, pine needles, shavings or contaminated sphagnum moss, moldy grass, other plant material, or soil. It is also known as Rose Handler’s Disease.

The first symptoms of sporotrichosis are painless pink, red, or purple spots that usually occur on the finger, arm, or hand where the fungus has entered the body. It is usually treated with a solution of potassium iodine that is diluted and swallowed, but can cause problems for people with compromised immune systems. Again, wearing gloves will help prevent infection.

avoid injuries

  • Dress to protect. Use appropriate gear to protect yourself from pests, chemicals, sharp or motorized tools, insects and too much of the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Wear sturdy shoes and long pants when using power tools.
  • Protect your hearing. Wear ear protection with electrical equipment.
  • Wear gloves to reduce the risk of skin irritation, cuts, and possible infection.
  • Be sun smart Wear long sleeves, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Operated and manual tools and equipment can cause serious injury. Pay attention, use chemicals and equipment properly and be aware of the hazards.
  • Follow directions and warning labels on chemicals and lawn and garden equipment.
  • Make sure the equipment is working properly.
  • Keep harmful chemicals, tools and equipment out of reach of children.

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