Should you wear gardening gloves?
This post explores whether or not you should wear gardening gloves.
Should You Wear Gardening Gloves?
Yes, you should always consider wearing gardening gloves. A good pair of gardening gloves is essential for anyone who likes to work in the soil. Whether you are a serious gardener or just like to occasionally tinker, gardening gloves will help protect your hands from a variety of hazards outside.
This article will cover some of the most important reasons to always throw on a pair of gloves when working in your garden.
Bacteria & Fungi
There are a number of nasty infections you can get if you garden without gloves. Cuts and scrapes can easily happen when working with thorns and sharp gardening tools. Splinters are another way that dangerous microorganisms can gain entry into your body.
Here are a few of the more common diseases that can be contracted from working in the soil:
Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and the dreaded Escherichia coli can all be found in soil. This is due to the popularity of cow, horse, and other types of manure in most fertilizers. If any of these enter the body, they can quickly spread in a bacterial infection to the point of sepsis. This can result in septic shock, organ failure, and in extreme cases, death.
Legionella pneumophila is the bacteria responsible for causing Legionnaires’ disease. Although uncommon, cases of this disease have been linked back to potting soil. Standing water can also harbor the bacteria. Gardening gloves and a dust mask are great ways to protect yourself from this bacteria.
Although you likely have been vaccinated against Clostridium tetani, the bacteria responsible for tetanus, it is still a good idea to reduce your risk of coming into contact with it. This bacteria is often found in both manure and soil. The symptoms of tetanus can be scary and include cramps, stiffness, and weakness that can eventually lead to partial paralysis.
More commonly called “Rose Gardener’s Disease,” this is a rare condition that is caused by a fungus that lives in soil. An open cut can easily allow this infection to develop. This condition usually starts with a small bump that can lead to a large, open sore. This is just one example of potentially dangerous fungi that can be found in your garden soil.
If you do experience a cut or scrape when gardening and develop and symptoms, be sure to consult your doctor as soon as possible. By catching these infections early and letting your doctor know what you were doing, you can minimize your risk of serious complications.
Spiders, Bugs, & Snakes
Your garden is likely home to many creatures, some of which you are aware of, and some that may be a surprise.
Although most spiders are harmless, there are a few varieties in the United States, such as the Black Widow and Brown Recluse, that can cause some damage.
Gloves can also keep your fingers from coming into contact with something you would rather not touch, like a snake. The neighborhood cats may also treat your soil like a giant litter box. This is another great reason to cover up your hands before digging around.
The repetitive nature of gardening, in combination with the sharp tools and thorns you are working with, make it a dangerous task. A simple pair of gardening gloves can help protect your hands from sunburn, allergies, and from coming into contact with pesticides and other unpleasant chemicals. They are also useful for preventing painful blisters. Some of your fancier gardening gloves can also help protect your hands and wrists from being strained from over-exertion.
Protect Your Fingernails
Although not as important as the above-mentioned reasons, gardening gloves are great for keeping your fingernails clean and looking good. It is easy to snag one while working and everyone knows how difficult it can be to get stubborn dirt out from underneath fingernails.
As you can see, wearing the right gardening gloves can save you a lot of pain in the long run. A good pair of shoes as well as a mask can also help minimize your risks when spending time digging in the dirt. There are a lot of different options on the market for gardening gloves. It is worth it to take the time to find a pair that fits well and suits your needs.