Summer Safety: Preventing lawn mower injuryPosted: July 19, 2019
Mowing the lawn is a common household task. But these tools can be dangerous – whether you own a ride-on or push lawnmower – especially when children are around.
Recently, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) released information warning parents about the dangers of lawn mowers. According to the AAOS, 253,000 people are treated for lawn mower-related injuries annually. Le Bonheur Children’s treats approximately 10 children each year from traumatic injuries caused by lawn mowers.
"Children do not belong on a lawn mower," said Dr. Derek Kelly, Le Bonheur Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. "Most of the injuries that we see come from children who are passengers on a ride-on lawn mower. No one should be a passenger on a lawn mower."
Dr. Kelly also urges parents and caretakers to be careful when mowing the lawn even when children aren't near.
"Lawn mowers are loud, and you can't hear if a kid is coming. Be cautious," said Dr. Kelly.
Here are safety tips from Safe Kids Mid-South, led by Le Bonheur Children’s, to protect your child from lawn mower injuries this summer:
- Don’t allow children to operate or ride lawn mowers
- Driving or pushing a mower around the yard is not the place for young children. Keep toddlers inside when mowing, and don’t let children under age 12 operate a push mower or children under 16 run a rider. Avoid the temptation of giving your child a spin around the yard – lawn tractors and zero-turn mowers are designed for only one person.
- Look out for “yard missiles”
- Pick up stones, branches, toys, sprinklers and other items before you start mowing. If you miss something and notice it while you’re mowing, don’t wait until you mow over the spot. Pick it up right away to prevent injury from flying objects.
- Avoid mowing gravel
- Never cross over a gravel driveway with the blades engaged. If you live on a gravel road, mow grass near gravel only when there are no cars or pedestrians passing.
- Be a conscious mower
- As an extra precaution, use a mower that stops moving forward if the handle is released. Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you if you do.