I was going to go cut the grass, but it started raining, so I decided to share some tips about lawnmower safety instead. For many of us, lawn care is an unavoidable task–whether your goal is making your yard look like a golf course or just keeping the HOA from sending you nasty letters. Unfortunately, lawnmowers present several hazards for kids as well.
Every year, about 17,000 children in the US are injured by lawnmowers. Fortunately, those injuries are preventable–as long as you know how to prevent them. Most of us recognize the danger of amputation from the mower’s blades, but the rocks or sticks they send flying (at up to 100 mph) are a very real danger as well.
Here are some tips to make sure your kids stay safe while keeping your lawn looking great:
- Never let young children operate a lawnmower or ride on a riding mower with you, even if the blade isn’t running. (The AAP’s recommendation is that children under 12 years old shouldn’t use push mowers, and children under 16 should not be allowed to operate riding mowers.)
- Make sure kids are inside and supervised while you are mowing–you never know when they might come looking for you.
- Remove any rocks, sticks, Transformers, or other objects from the area prior to mowing.
- Never leave a mower running unattended.
- Don’t mow drunk. Really, don’t do anything dangerous drunk. Or, heck–just don’t get drunk at all.
- Consider a reel-type mower if your yard is small enough. They’re safer, don’t stir up as many allergens, and don’t present the additional hazard of gasoline storage. The exercise won’t hurt you.
- Ensure that teenagers tasked with mowing the grass wear proper eye and ear protection as well as sturdy closed-toed shoes. Make sure they are familiar with how to navigate any tricky terrain like hills or ditches.
I’m sure your neighbors are glad you keep your yard looking so good. Just be careful out there and keep the kiddos safe. Have a safe summer!