Many moms and dads understand it's crucial to tend to more than their lawns when they do yard work. Still, countless children are hurt in yard-work-related injuries every year. It just takes a minute for a kid to dart into the path of a lawn mower.
Myranda got her foot caught underneath the blade of her dad's riding mower when she was 2 years old. Spence lost part of his foot when he tripped in front of a riding lawn mower when he was 3. Both Myranda and Spence needed to have a foot amputated and now use prosthesis.
Myranda and Spence are among the many children Shriners Hospitals for Children treats each year who have lost fingers, toes and limbs as an outcome of power lawn mower mishaps. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 84,000 injuries arise from mower accidents each year, and 8,800 of those injuries are to children under the age of 18.
One out of every 5 mower deaths involves a child. According to a report released in the Annals of Emergency Medicine Web site, children between the ages of 15 and 19 have the highest rate of hospitalizations brought on by mower accidents, and the second-most-common outcome of these hospitalizations is toe amputation.
To avoid lawn mower injuries, follow these safety tips from Shriners Hospitals for Children and the CPSC:
- Do not allow passengers on a riding lawn mower.
- Keep kids out of the backyard and inside your home while cutting the yard.
- Do not enable kids under the age of 14 to operate a mower.
- Always prepare your lawn for mowing. Examine your lawn for items such as sticks, rocks, toys, and so on. Make sure absolutely nothing is concealed in the lawn.
- Handle fuel with care. Wipe up spills. Never fill the tank on a mower that is hot. Never smoke or use any kind of flame around gasoline.
- Wear proper clothes and shoes, including long pants, long-sleeved shirts, eye safety, heavy gloves, and sturdy, close-toed shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles.
- Check guards and shields. Read the owner's manual and know how to run the equipment. Don't eliminate or disable guards or other safety devices.
- Always utilize a lawn mower with an automated blade cutoff. Stay behind the handle till the blade stops.
- Never reach under a mower while it is still operating. If you need to remove particles or examine the blade, detach the wire from the spark plug.
- Don't cut lawn when it's damp.
- On slopes, mow up and down instead of across the slope.