As the first first day of autumn approaches, it’s time to plan family fun (like fall festivals and apple-picking). It’s also time to prepare for some particular challenges the change of season can present to ensure that we all enjoy this season together. The end of summer can bring cooler temperatures, so it’s important to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, and do it safely.

In addition, it’s important to take precautions when it comes to leaf burning. A fall tradition for many, burning leaves can pose a considerable safety threat. Burning leaves can cause respiratory issues that negatively impact health. Airborne particulates containing hazardous elements can cause coughing, difficulty breathing and chest pains. It can even lead to long-term respiratory issues. For health and safety reasons, many communities have laws that prohibit leaf burning. If you are considering to burn leaves, speak with your local fire department about regulations. If leaf burning is allowed, be sure to apply the safest methods in order to reduce the risk of the fire spreading to your home or landscaping.

If your neighbors are burning leaves, and if you or a loved one experience negative respiratory impacts as a result of this, discuss this change with your home health care professional. It’s important to always keep your home health care team informed at any time you feel changes in your health.

Along with the falling of leaves come slippery conditions. It is important to make sure your walkway is clear of leaves. Did you also know that raking is considered a moderate workout? Raking leaves can be good for you, as long as your physician has approved this kind of activity. It may or may or not may be too stressful, depending on your ability to take on physical activity.

If your doctor has cleared you for moderate activity like raking, be sure to warm up and take it easy. Be mindful of stretching, lifting from the knees, and being kind to your back. Take a break from the repetitive motion. If your doctor has not cleared you or a loved one for raking leaves, consider a lawn service.

Being sure your walkway is clear will allow you or your loved one the chance to go for walks with your home health care professional, enjoy the brisk fresh air, and the opportunity to admire the foliage safely. Making sure that your home and property is prepared for autumn will help you and your family get the most out of this beautiful season.