Tips To Keep Kids Safe While Around Lawn Mowers
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The lawn mower is one of the most dangerous household tools. Each year 68,000 people are treated in the emergency department for lawn mower related injuries, and 9,000 of them are children under the age of 18. Most childhood injuries due to lawn mowers are related to riding mowers, and most are injured in their own yard.
“One important statistic to remember is that a significant number of these accidents occur among family members,” says Junichi Tamai, MD, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery. “Most families think that if the child stays with a family member, everything will be okay, but that is not the case.”
Most common injuries associated with mowers can include lacerations, amputations, fractures, infections and skin defects.
Dr. Tamai and the American Academy of Pediatrics give the following tips for staying safe around lawn mowers.
- Make sure there is a blade safety device for ride-on mowers that disconnect the blade from the power source when the operator leaves the operating position
- Ensure there is automatic blade disengagement when the mower is placed in reverse gear
- Children younger than 15 years should not be in the yard when the lawn is being mowed
- No passengers should be carried on ride-on mowers
- Wear hard-soled shoes around mowers
- Use a mower with a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is let go.
- Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers.
- Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
- Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
- Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.
- Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.
- Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
- Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
- Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
About Cincinnati Children's
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of just eight children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll in U.S. News and World Report’s 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is ranked #1 for digestive disorders and highly ranked for its expertise in pulmonology, cancer, neonatology, heart and heart surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, kidney disorders and urology. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for quality and transformation work by Leapfrog, The Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and by hospitals and health organizations it works with globally. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org