In every community, there is a common danger to children in the form of lawnmowers. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that approximately eight hundred children are run over by lawnmowers every year. Of these admissions, it is estimated that approximately 600 amputations are treated or performed at local hospitals.
Statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) show that 60 percent of lawn mower accidents occur to boys from ages 3 to 16. It is paramount in order protect your children this summer for a parent to be aware of proper safety practices when using lawnmowers. The AAP recommends that parents wait until their child is 12 years old before operating a push mower and 16 years old before operating a ride on lawn mower. It is important to remember that these are merely guidelines for parents whom should also take into account their child’s maturity when deciding to let the child take on this task. Proper attire can prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring instruct your children to not wear open toe shoes (or anything that does not fully cover one’s feet), long pants to prevent leg injury, and ear and eye protection for further coverage. Before the child begins his or her first attempt at mowing a lawn, teaching your child the ins and outs of the machine and how it works can reduce risk due to incorrect operation. Consider going over the user manual of your specific mower with your child in order to fully educate them. Another lesson that could benefit your child relates to blade safety. Reminding the the child to turn the mower off and let it cool down before dislodging any debris that may be caught in it. A parent could also opt to have their child let the parent handle debris caught in the blades if the parent does not believe they are ready for that responsibility. In the case of push mowers, the practice of “always forward never backwards” is a good rule of thumb for avoiding injuries during use.
Parents must also be weary themselves when using lawn mowers as a lack of caution could still cause an incident involving your child and the mower. Whether it be a child or a parent, there should be nobody around when mowing the lawn. To prevent accidents, do not allow your children to play outside nearby or walk along the adjacent sidewalk while mowing. Children should also not walk alongside the mower or ride atop one with a parent as it is only meant for a single rider. One last general tip that benefits both parents and their children is the idea of preparing a lawn to be mowed. Removing any large debris whether it be rocks, toys, or gravel and prevent dangerous incidents that are commonly associated with lawn mowers.
David Wolf is a personal injury attorney and child safety advocate with over 28 years of experience. He is the author of 12 books that focus on personal injuries and child injuries including the book titled The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights fo the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know. David Wolf firmly belives in Giving a Voice to Injured Children and Their Parents.