Every spring and summer, millions of lawns are mowed without a hitch.
Here’s the catch, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 17,000 children require emergency care every year due to lawn mower related incidents!
Perhaps it’s the commonality of the task that makes it seem safe.
But it should not be overlooked that these very common tools are also dangerous.
So, how can we use lawn mowers safely around children? Here is what you need to know!
Injuries to Children Caused by Lawn Mowers
Depending on where you live. Your lawn may need to be mowed over 30 times per year. Every time the lawn mower is started, one is dealing with a potentially dangerous, powerful piece of equipment.
With 17,000 children injured annually by lawn mowers, we should be mindful of how we can more safely use them.
There are a lot of different types of injuries caused by lawn mowers. Some occur while the lawn mower is moving, and others occur even when the lawn mower is off.
Common Injuries to children caused by lawn mowers:
and even death.
It’s simple, the spinning sharp blades, and other moving parts that can crush body parts or pull loose clothing into the machine. Just the weight of the machine can potentially crush an operator are constant potential hazards for all users.
Unfortunately, the incidents that cause the most harm are accidents involving children. Below are a few tips to ensure that children are in the safest situation possible when lawn care is being performed.
Like many other dangers for children online and off, there are some things you need to know about mowing the lawn to protect your children.
Lawn Mower Safety Tips
So with all of the dangers lawn mowers pose to children, how do we keep young ones safe while we mow the lawn?
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind to keep your family safe while you keep your lawn looking great.
Tip #1- Keep younger children inside the home
Look, there is no need for a child under the age of 7 years old to be outside alone while any yard work is being performed.
Children of that age that are left outside unsupervised are more susceptible to being hit by debris or accidentally run over.
Most children that are run over by mowers are run over when the driver was backing up and didn’t see the child.
Simple solution- Keep children inside!
Tip #2- Pick up debris off the lawn
Debris in the lawn may not only damage your mower, it can become a projectile should it be caught in the blades.
Clearing debris is a must before mowing the lawn to ensure that anyone, especially children, are safe.
Get this! The mower’s engine produces enough power to catapult objects at over 200 miles per hour out of the chute.
This means that even a small stick or child’s toy can become a deadly projectile. Get the debris picked up to avoid this potential situation.
Tip #3- Store mower safely
After mowing, make sure the lawn mower is stored away from children. Not only is this piece of equipment deadly while engaged, but it has the potential to cause harm after it has been stored.
Look, the exhaust and engine on mowers can stay at 240 degrees for up to 10-15 minutes after being turned off.
This is crazy but, according to the Burn Foundation, any object with this temperature can cause 2nd or 3rd degree burns to the skin if contact is made.
If possible, lock up the mower away from children each and every time the lawn has been mowed.
Tip #4- Do not let children ride on the mower
Mowers do not have two seats and, therefore, are not designed for two people—so NEVER let a child ride on a mower for any reason. Children have a higher chance of being injured by the blades or by being run over when they are riding a lawn mower.
By allowing a child to ride a mower you may put him/her at the most risk for injury, so this practice should never be allowed.
Tip #5- Avoid delegating chores too early
Finally, never allow a child under the age of 12 years old to operate any type of mower.
At this age, a child has not developed enough strength to operate this type of machinery safely. After the age of 12, children should only be operating a push mower under adult supervision.
And, not until the age of 16 should an adolescent ever be allowed to use a riding lawn mower.
Do not allow lawn mowing chores to start too early to avoid any potential accidents.
The Bottom Line on Keeping Children Safe
Mowing the lawn is a task that most people don’t mind performing. Not only does it help one get a little exercise, and be as one with nature. Better yet you can help make the property look more attractive.
The simplicity of this task can cause major oversight about the potential risks caused by mowing. Especially when children are nearby.
However, children should not be brought into this chore or environment until they are old enough.
Following these tips can ensure that one’s child and lawn grow up safely and out of lawn care harm’s way.
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