Did you know about 25,000 Americans are injured each year from lawn mowers? The blades on a lawn mower can spin about 3,000 revolutions a minute, making it a dangerous piece of equipment. Power mowers are capable of causing serious injuries, including deep cuts, burns, eye injuries, broken or dislocated bones, and amputations of fingers, toes and even legs on small children.
Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself and those around you when using lawn mowers. So, follow these safety precautions when operating a power mower:
- Dress appropriately while mowing the lawn. Wear a close-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to avoid injuries from thrown objects like rocks and sticks. Wear sturdy shoes or work boots with slip-resistant rubber soles. Don’t wear tennis shoes or sandals. Wear safety glasses and hearing protection. Put on heavy gloves when changing, sharpening or cleaning the blades.
- Talk to your kids about the dangers of power mowers.
- Be aware of the age limits for lawn mower use. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of 12 should never use a push mower. Teenagers should be at least 16 years old to operate a riding mower. Always supervise your kids while they’re mowing the yard.
- Keep children indoors and away from the lawn when you’re mowing. Supervise children to keep them from running outside.
- Be aware of your surroundings. If a child comes into the yard, turn off the mower.
- Never let a child (especially small children) ride on a riding mower, even if they’re supervised. Children can easily slip and fall off the mower and become injured by the blades. Don’t give kids the wrong message that riding mowers are fun.
- Always use a push mower with a release mechanism on the handle that automatically shuts off when the handle is let go.
- Make sure all safety devices are functioning properly before use. Never disconnect them.
- Start and refuel mowers outside – never indoors. Carefully handle gasoline. Never refuel the mower when the motor is on or still hot.
- Never smoke around gasoline or gas-powered mowers.
- Never mow a wet lawn since you can easily slip and injure yourself.
- Mow across slopes with a push mower – never up and down. Mow up and down slopes on a riding mower – never across.
- Never pull a push mower backwards. Disengage the blade when backing up on a riding mower.
- Use caution when mowing around corners, shrubs and trees.
- Pick up sticks, stones, toys, and other objects before mowing to prevent injuries and keep from damaging the mower.
- Attach a collection bag or a protection plate over the opening where grass comes out to prevent projectile injuries.
- Turn off the mower and remove or disconnect the spark plug before adjusting the blade settings or removing debris. Make sure all adjustments and debris removal are done by an adult.
Hopefully by following these tips, you, or someone you know, will never experience a serious injury while mowing the lawn. However if you do, visit your doctor or your hospital’s emergency room as soon as possible, depending upon the severity of the injury.
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