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8 Lawnmower Injury Prevention Tips (video)

Mowing lawns is a time-honored way for kids to make extra spending money during the hot summer months. But will they do it safely — or will they risk serious injury because they don’t understand the power of a lawnmower or how to operate one safely?

June is National Home Safety Month and five medical organizations* warn that the routine chore of mowing the lawn can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator, and those nearby if proper safety precautions are ignored.

Last year, 253,000 people in the U.S. were treated for lawn mower-related injuries, and 17,000 of those were children under the age of 19, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A lot of these lawn mower-related injuries require painful reconstruction and often take months or years to heal. There are some common sense things you can do to prevention injury while using a lawnmower.

8 Lawnmower Injury Prevention 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 area you are mowing.

5. Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.

6. Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.

7. Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.

8. Always wear eye and hearing protection.

When Lawnmowers Attack (video)
Mowing the lawn is as common as a summer barbecue or a game of baseball. Sometimes, lawn mowers “attack” — but they don’t attack on their own — they attack because of careless use and lack of proper precaution.

Warning: The following video is a bit graphic.

*American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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Image copyright: istockphoto.com

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis,” a memoir. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and The Author’s Guild, and a regular contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2 Causes. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

Read more: Children, Family, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Nature, , ,

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

28 comments

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2:35PM PDT on Jun 19, 2012

Thanks for the post.

9:35PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Thanks you

7:09AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Thanks for this helpful information...

10:21AM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

great article, thank you!

11:03AM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

Good tips to remember. Safety first and foremost.

12:41PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

ty

3:42AM PDT on Jun 23, 2011

Good to know.

10:11PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Though it might be difficult for younger children, and is not totally safe, using a push reel mower (no engine) is MUCH safer. The blades don't turn unless you push the mower. There is no nasty pollution or energy waste. The mower is a lot less noisy. It won't throw objects at you or pedestrians.

The push reel mower is cheaper, and in my experience they last much longer and require much less fiddling and maintenance. The machine is also much lighter -- a real advantage if you have to carry it up steps or up hills.

Everyone used these human powered machines before cheap energy and an obsession with macho power machinery set in. I bring this up every time lawn mowing is covered, but no one seems to even recognize that push reel mowers exist and are a good alternative.

3:31PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Good stuff to know thanks.

11:25AM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

I know a 9th one JUST DONT USE A LAWNMOWER. Use something to cut it down like hedge clippers, and don't waste the grass after you cut it. If you have animals that could eat it feed it to them, or sell it to someone who has animals.

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