Children and Lawn Mowers Do Not Mix (5 Tips for Safer Operation)

Children and Lawn Mowers Do Not Mix (5 Tips for Safer Operation)

Children and Lawn Mowers Do Not Mix (5 Tips for Safer Operation)

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!

What Ma1kes Lawn Mowers Dangerous to Children?

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:

  • Lacerations, 

  • amputations, 

  • broken bones, 

  • burns,

  • 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.

Safety TipDescription
Age Guidelines
Keep Young Children InsideChildren under 7 should remain indoors during lawn mowing to prevent accidents. Most accidents occur when children are unseen and accidentally run over.Recommended for children under 7
Clear Lawn of DebrisRemove toys, sticks, and stones to prevent them from being propelled by mower blades. Mowers can eject debris at speeds over 200 mph, posing serious risks.Applicable to all ages
Store Mower SafelyEnsure the lawn mower is stored in a place inaccessible to children to prevent burns or injuries from touching hot parts. Mower parts can remain hot and cause burns long after being turned off.Applicable to all ages
No Riding on the MowerMowers are designed for one operator. Allowing children to ride on mowers significantly increases the risk of injuries from falls or contact with the blades.Strictly enforce for all children
Delay Mowing ChoresChildren under 12 should not operate any mowers. Those 12 and older may use a push mower under supervision, but only individuals 16 and older should consider using riding mowers, given the necessary strength and maturity.Under 12 for push mowers, 16 for riding mowers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest way to mow the lawn when children are present?

The safest way is to ensure children are indoors or at a safe distance from the mowing area. Always be aware of where children are before starting and during mowing to prevent accidents.

Can teenagers use lawnmowers safely?

Teenagers can use lawn mowers safely under adult supervision, starting with push mowers around age 12. It's advised that only those 16 and older operate riding mowers, ensuring they've been properly instructed on safe operation.

Are there specific types of injuries caused by lawnmowers that I should be aware of?

Yes, common lawn mower-related injuries include lacerations, amputations, broken bones, burns, and in severe cases, death. These can occur from direct contact with the blades or being hit by debris.

How can I teach my child about lawn mower safety?

Educate your child about the dangers of lawnmowers through discussions, demonstrating safe practices, and ensuring they observe safety rules whenever near mowing activities. Reinforce the importance of staying clear of mowing areas and never touching a mower without adult supervision.

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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