Lawn Mower Safety
Summertime means fun in the sun and getting back to your badly neglected yard work. Though pulling weeds is fairly harmless, mowing the lawn can put you at risk for injury. According to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, lawn mower injuries are on the rise, with the majority of injuries occurring in children under age 15 and adults age 60 and older. The most common injuries reported are due to strikes from debris, such as rocks and branches, propelled by the mower's spinning blades. To keep your family safe from lawn mower related injuries, follow these lawn mowing safety tips.
1. Check the yard. Clear the yard from debris, including rocks, branches and toys.
2. Inspect the mower. Before you start the mower, make sure all the safety devices are in place and working fine. Once the mower is started, do not put your fingers, hands or feet near the blades.
3. Dress appropriately. Though sporting sandals and a bathing suit may be most comfortable on a hot summer day, wear long pants, closed-toe shoes and safety goggles while you are mowing. Consider mowing at cooler times of the day.
4. Keep your kids and other family members in the house or away from the lawn while you are mowing in the case a rock or branch gets thrown by the mower.
5. Do not let young kids mow the lawn. The American Pediatrics Association recommends that no kids under 16 be allowed to use a riding mower and no kids under 12 use a push mower.
6. Do not let your kids or other family members ride on the riding lawn mower with you. Riding mowers are made for one operator. Having additional people on the mower can result in someone falling off or getting directly injured by the mower.
7. Avoid navigating riding mowers over steep hills or embankments as this can cause the mower to flip over.
8. Store lawn mowers securely. Keep mowers in a locked shed or enclosed in the garage where kids don't have easy, unsupervised access. Keep the keys out of riding lawn mowers so kids aren't tempted to start them up.