Avoiding lawn mower accidents among childrenBy UF&Shands Communications • Published: July 17th, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
While the hot days of summer lure you to the great outdoors for a swim or encourage you to spend time with family and friends at the barbecue du jour, it’s also the season for that dreaded chore: trimming the forest of grass that sprouts every time it rains.
This mundane task is necessary for enjoying the best of summer days. But if you aren’t careful it can lead to injuries, especially for children. Letting your kids help mow the lawn seems innocent in their quest for summer cash, but handling the mower could end their summer plans before they begin.
Each year, lawnmower accidents account for more than sixteen-thousand injuries to children under the age of 19, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Injuries run the gamut from scrapes to broken bones … and even severed digits and limbs. Eye injuries also occur when mowers kick up sharp objects.
Though most lawnmower models have safety features that reduce incidents such as tipover, rollover and body contact with the rotating blade, accidents still happen. So how can you stay happy and healthy this summer?
First, enlist children to pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent objects from flying when you mow. Don’t let little ones operate a lawnmower and never allow them as passengers on ride-on mowers. Lastly, make sure youngsters under 12 are far from the area you are mowing … maybe by keeping them indoors working on those other pesky chores.