Gardening brings around 16,000 people to hospital each year

Gardening brings around 16,000 people to hospital each year
Ladders should ideally be held by a second person.

“Every year, on average, over 16,000 people injure themselves so badly while gardening that they have to be treated in hospital.” Falls are the most common. Very serious injuries often occur when using machines. Robotic lawnmowers in particular are underestimated. Broken bones (46 percent), open wounds (25 percent) and tendon and muscle injuries (11 percent) are the most common types of injuries when gardening, said Johanna Trauner-Karner, head of the KFV sports and leisure safety department, on Monday. The hands are particularly often affected, with around a third of the injuries. The upper extremities in total – from the hand to the shoulder – account for just over half of all cases. The lower extremities, especially the ankle, lower leg, foot and knee, require treatment in 32 percent of all injuries.

  • Read also: Danger for children: Falls from windows are more common in spring

Danger source: robotic lawnmowers

Seven percent of accidents involve motorized or electrically powered devices such as lawnmowers, chainsaws, hedge trimmers and tree trimmers. To ensure the safety of children and pets, robotic lawnmowers should only be run when no one is in the garden – but never at night or at dusk when small animals such as hedgehogs or lizards are around.

However, most accidents happen due to distraction, hecticness and carelessness, according to the KFV. In 60 percent of cases, a fall occurs: “Falls while gardening are mainly caused by slipping or tripping over tools, rolled-out garden hoses or cut branches,” said Trauner-Karner, advising that tripping hazards should be removed. Around one in ten of the amateur gardeners treated in hospital are injured by falling from a height, often from ladders and trees.

Be careful when handling a chainsaw

For a safe gardening season, experts recommend functional clothing, gloves and sturdy shoes, wearing safety glasses when trimming hedges, for example, and being very careful when handling a chainsaw: “It’s best to use cut-resistant trousers.” Ladders should ideally be held by a second person, and equipment should be checked for functionality and safety before each use.

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