Every spring and summer, homeowners in the St. Louis area and across the country mow their lawns on a regular basis as it is the most basic type of lawn maintenance performed. However, because this is such a common practice, many people forget how dangerous the lawn mower is and do not take lawn mower safety as seriously as they should. For the most part, mowing the lawn is a routine task but the blade can cause serious injury or even death if the mower is operated carelessly. The following information provides important facts concerning lawn mower accidents as well as tips for preventing such accidents.
The amount of lawn mower related injuries that occur a year is surprising and according to amputee-coalition.org, they are the most common cause of amputations in children under 10. Statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission show that in 2007 over 200,000 people were treated for lawn mower related injuries and 16,000 of these patients were under 19. Lawn mower related injuries also increased by 3% from 2009 to 2010.
It is easy to dismiss these statistics as just numbers but they represent many real people who were seriously injured by a lawn mower. Lawn mower injuries tend to be severe but they are totally preventable. Homeowners must assume responsibility and take the right precautions when they mow the lawn to protect themselves and others from possible injury.
Statistically, children suffer worse from lawn mower accidents than adults and by taking these following actions, you can help keep your kids protected as you mow the lawn.
- Keep children away from the lawn mower at all times even when idle.
- Do not let a child ride on a riding mower with you.
- Keep your children inside while mowing.
- Generally, children under 12 should not operate a lawn mower and children under 16 should not operate a riding mower.
Protecting your children is obviously the top priority of lawn mower safety but you should also take precautions to keep yourself protected. Lawn mower blades spin at an average of about 160 miles per hour so it is important to make sure you are safe.
- Remove all debris such as leaves and branches before mowing.
- Use personal protective equipment (PPE) which includes shoes, long pants, and hearing and eye protection.
- Put the mower on a level surface outdoors to refuel and start it.
- The blade should only be adjusted by an adult.
- Make sure the automatic shut-off device and safety guards on your mower are functional.
- Stay aware of your surroundings as you mow.
- Push the mower forward and take extra care when mowing around slopes.
- Do not mow when the grass is wet.
- Make sure the blade has stopped moving completely before emptying the grass bag or going across non-grass surfaces.
Mowing the lawn is part of the normal lawn care routine of every homeowner during the summer but because it is a common task, it is easy for people to forget how dangerous lawn mowers are. When you mow your lawn, make sure to take these precautions to keep yourself and your children protected from injury. If you would like to know more about lawn mower safety, contact Green T Lawn Care to talk to a professional.