Lawn Mower Safety
200,000 people – 16,000 of them children – are injured in lawn mower-related accidents each year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports.
Lawn Mower Injuries
Most injuries– such as severed fingers and toes, limb amputations, broken bones, burns and eye injuries – are caused by careless use.
Prevent lawnmower injuries by following a few simple safety tips.
1. Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
2. Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
3. Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
4. Young children should be at a safe distance from the mowing area.
5. Pick up stones, toys and debris first from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
6. Always wear eye and hearing protection.
7. Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
8. Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – always look for others behind you when you do.
9. Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
10. Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
11. Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads. (As a safety feature, some newer models have a blade/brake clutch that stops the blade each time the operator releases the handle.)
12. Many lawn mower-related injuries require a team of physicians from various specialties – plastic surgery, microsurgery, maxillofacial surgery, pediatrics, and orthopaedics – to properly repair them. Often, patients must endure painful reconstructive operations for months, sometimes years, to restore form and function.