Don't Rake in Injuries
According to the annual summary from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately thirty-eight thousand Americans suffer leaf-raking injuries a year. These injuries can often be avoided. With a few tips and a pinch of common sense you will be walking upright after the last fall leaf is gone…right in time to rake in the holiday celebrations.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers these suggestions.
• Slow and steady is the proper pace. Especially when you have a large yard or multiple trees, raking is definitely a marathon, not a sprint!
• Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris
• Be sure your footwear is slip-resistant because damp leaves can be slick.
• Use tools with padded handles or wear garden gloves to prevent blisters and hand injury.
• Do not rake with long strokes. Keep your strokes short to minimize the risk of extension injury.
• Use a rake that is suitable for you. If it is too short or too heavy, the risk of strain to your back, shoulders and neck increases.
• When raking, keep your back straight, turning your whole body instead of twisting at the waist, and shift your weight using your legs.
• Do not overfill leaf bags, especially if you’re clearing wet leaves; keep weight at a level that is comfortable for you to lift.
• And be careful when you’re lifting those leaf bags. Always bend at the knees, and avoid twisting to throw bags over your shoulder or off to the side.
Enjoy your fall festivities~