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You want to keep eye safety in mind throughout the year when you’re working in the lawn and garden. Some of the dangers that can crop up are – forgive the pun – easy to see coming. Others, however, can come up unexpectedly, and can surprise you.
There are a number of potential dangers in your lawn and garden – some of them easy to spot, while others aren’t very obvious at all.
- Lawn Trimmers and Edgers – Cited as one of the leading causes of eye injuries in the United States, these do a great job of cutting and shaping your lawn. Unfortunately, few of them come with shields capable of deflecting all the debris they toss up. Dirt, grass, stones, and tiny fragments of the nylon line will fly into the air and can lacerate an eye or create fungal infections.
- Lawn Mowers – They can turn stones, clumps of dirt, and other objects into high-velocity projectiles when they are hit by the blade.
- Weed Killers, Fertilizers, and other Chemicals – While the potential of them splashing into your face is not that great, it can happen. That’s not the biggest worry, though. You probably don’t think about it, but when you work with chemicals, gasoline, and fertilizers, they will get on your arms and hands. If you rub your face and eyes, you’ll be rubbing those chemicals and liquids right in to your eyes.
- The Sun – You probably worry about what the sun does to your skin while you’re out working all day, but it can also do a number on your eyes if you don’t take care.
- Trees and Shrubs – Errant branches can give your eye a jab and can result in a scratched cornea or worse.
- Hardscaping and Hardware – Whether it’s a protruding nail, sharp corners, or hanging decorations, there’s a slight possibility of injury from a fall or accidentally walking into an object.
Protecting Your Eyes in the Lawn and Garden
While it sounds like everything in you lawn and garden might be out to damage your eyes, it’s not all that hard to protect yourself.
- Polycarbonate glasses with wrap-around shielding are your best bet for protecting your eyes. Some, such as the ones at right, are made to go over prescription glasses or sunglasses. These will keep direct impacts away from your eyes, and keep particles from blowing in from the sides. Make sure they are certified to the ANSI Z87.1 standards.
- Sunglasses and hats will protect your eyes from the suns rays. Just remember that sunglasses alone are not impact resistant. You can, however, find polycarbonate glasses with tinted lenses.
- Wash your hands after handling chemicals, fertilizers and gasoline. If you get some in your eyes, rinse them immediately.
- Remove or pare down potential hazards – trim back branches, round off corners, pound down nails. Clean up and simplify you lawn, and remove as may hazards as possible
Losing your eyesight can be difficult to deal with, and even more so when you know you could have prevented it in the first place. Make sure that your lawn and garden isn’t the cause of the degeneration or loss of your eyesight. You’ll want to be able to enjoy looking at what you’ve spent time working on for years to come.