Mowing the lawn is often a necessary part of life if you have grass; without keeping your grass cut to an acceptable level, you not only give pests such as mice and snakes a place to live and thrive, but you also make your home look less attractive. If you’ve spent time and money laying grass, you’ll want to keep your grass looking great.

Sometimes it can feel like a chore that some don’t enjoy, but this doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously, especially when it comes to safety. You may think that the clothing you wear to mow your lawn isn’t important, but it can save you from injuries. Really, any suburban gardening should include protective gear.

Cover Up

When the grass needs mowing, chances are the weather will be warm. You might even be tempted to grow some crops that love the heat! As a result, it’s tempting to wear as little as possible to mow the lawn. Shorts, tank tops, or even bathing suits may seem like the best way to dress for this job, but if that’s your choice of mowing attire, you’re running the risk of injuries.

Remember, you’re either sitting above or walking directly behind steel blades whirling at a high rate of speed. While the blades themselves don’t usually pose a risk to exposed skin, any debris those blades send flying into the air does. Something as simple as a small piece of wood from a branch or root can give you a nasty cut or puncture, sometimes winding up embedded in your skin. This is an easily avoided problem, though, by covering your exposed skin.

The highest risk to your body from debris is on your legs, due to their closeness to the blades. Most debris that a mower can send flying will be at this low level, which means that shorts are a bad idea. Long pants will offer better protection from injuries.

The same rule applies to your arms. While sleeves will protect your arms from debris, they will also protect your skin from long-term exposure to the sun, preventing sunburn and, by extension, lowering your risk of skin cancer.

Wear Proper Shoes

Mowing the lawn barefoot or in sandals or flip-flops is also a bad idea. Even with an easy to handle, low maintenance mower such as a reel mower, you still want to be protected. Wearing a sturdy pair of closed-toe shoes will protect your feet from flying debris, and if you’re using a self-propelled or push mower, they’ll also protect you from stepping on any sharp objects left behind by the passage of the blades, such as a freshly-sharpened stick or any other object with a sharp point or edge.

A puncture wound to the sole of your foot can cause irritation for days, limiting your ability to enjoy other activities.

Protect Your Eyes

A significant area of potential injury from flying debris is your eyes. A small piece of grass or wood that wouldn’t cause a problem if it struck your arm or leg could lead to permanent blindness if it strikes your eye at the high speeds created by a mower. Safety goggles will protect you well, but a pair of wrap-around sunglasses can stop debris from costing you your sight.

What Was That?

No matter what type you use, a lawn mower creates noise…a lot of noise. Similar to a whipper snipper, kf you’ve ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone while a mower is running nearby, you’re already familiar with this fact.

The levels of sound produced by a running mower can lead to a permanent impairment of your ability to hear; ear muffs or sound-dampening earplugs can help reduce or prevent the damage caused to your ears by this noise.

Block the Irritants

A face mask or bandanna may not seem like a piece of protective clothing you need for mowing the lawn, but if pollen, dust, or grass clippings cause you problems with breathing due to allergies, these can be life-savers.

While it may seem simple, mowing your lawn can have potential risk to your health; equip yourself with the proper protection.

Jessica Meier

Jessica Meier

Garden fairy / mother of 2... also, I like to cook :)

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