With spring in full swing, lawn mowing season is here. Teenagers are often tasked with mowing the lawn; some mow lawns for a summer job. The reality is, however, that mowing the lawn can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator and those nearby if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced that they are joining ASRM in educating adults and children about the importance of lawn mower safety in 2012. “We want parents and kids to be more aware of precautions to take so that injuries can be prevented”, said AAP President Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in 2010 alone. Almost 17,000 of them were children under the age of 19; lawn mower-related injuries were up three percent in 2010 over 2009.
Most lawn mower injuries occur when the operator is distracted for a moment. Parents should be discussing lawn mower safety with their teens as most lawn mower accidents are preventable. Lawn mower accidents can cause injuries to fingers tips, hands and feet as well as legs, arms, eyes, face and head.
Lawn mower safety tips
- Purchase a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving when the handle is let go.
- Children under the age of 12 should not use a push lawn mower and those under 16 should not operate a driving lawn mower.
- Closed toed shoes should be worn while mowing.
- Objects left in the grass can become flying objects if they are run over by a lawn mower. Flying object injuries can be avoided by taking a quick tour of the grass and picking up objects before mowing.
- Wear polycarbonate protective eyewear at all times.
- Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary. If you need to go backward, always check for children who may have snuck up behind you.
- Always turn off and unplug the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
- Use a stick or broom handle – not your hands or feet – to remove debris inside lawn mowers.
- Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers and keep children out of the yard while mowing.
- Drive up and down slopes, not across them, to reduce the risk of mower rollover.
- Keep lawn mowers in good working order. When using a lawn mower for the first time in a season, have it serviced to ensure that it is working correctly.
While some lawn mower injuries are minor, some require a team of physicians from various specialties to properly repair them. Painful reconstructive surgery and years of healing have been known to result from lawn mower accidents.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!