Why You Need a Tetanus Shot if You Garden

A common source of the tetanus bacteria lives in your yard. Here’s why you should keep your tetanus vaccine up-to-date.

Gardeners know to protect their skin with gloves and wide-brim hats. But few home owners remember to get a tetanus booster before planting perennials or tending to storm-damaged trees.

Tetanus bacteria live in soil, dust, and manure. They can enter the body through any skin puncture — rose bush pricks, weeder injuries, battles with chicken wire cages that stop rabbits from eating your greens. 

Tetanus is a nasty central nervous system infection that can cause convulsions severe enough to break bones; almost one-third of people who get tetanus die from the infection.

Tetanus boosters last for 10 years. So make sure you’re up-to-date with your shots before mucking around in your garden.