Did you know the lawn mower is one of the most dangerous household tools? In fact, each year 68,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for lawn mower-related injuries, and 9,400 of them are children under the age of 18, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Most childhood injuries due to lawn mowers are related to riding mowers, and most children are injured in their own yard. To help keep kids safe, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the American Academy of Pediatrics provided these tips for parents:
-- Children younger than 15 should not be in the yard when someone else is mowing. Children younger than 12 should not use walk-behind mowers, and kids younger than 16 should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers.
-- Children or adults should never be allowed as passengers on ride-on mowers.
-- Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary. Carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
-- Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.
-- Be sure to wear hard-soled, sturdy shoes around mowers (no sandals or sneakers).
-- Wear hearing and eye protection when operating a mower.
-- Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.