Hospital emergency rooms care for thousands of lawn mower-related injuries every year in the United States. A great number of those injuries involve the lower limbs. And, sadly, children make up a large amount of those injured.
Keeping yourself and your family safe while mowing the lawn begins with awareness of the dangers. Then, commit yourself to the steps that will help you avoid them.
- Become intimately familiar with how your mower works. Know the controls. Be in control.
- Keep young children safely inside the house. Most children are naturally curious about machinery. They’re also small. Both of these truths mean they can easily dart out in front of you or lurk behind you without your seeing them.
- Survey the yard before you mow for obstacles such as rocks and sticks. They can become airborne projectiles when run over by a mower.
- When using a walk-behind mower, mow across hills, not up and down; when using a ride-on mower, do the opposite.
- Maintain your lawn-care equipment in good working order.
- Mow under adverse conditions such as when the grass is wet or when it’s getting dark outside.
- Let children ride with you on a power mower.
- Let children younger than 12 operate a walk-behind mower or children younger than 16 operate a ride-on mower. These age recommendations come directly from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Reaching the recommended age is only part of the story: they should also be strong and mature enough to handle the job.
- Wear sneakers or sandals. Instead, protect your feet with work boots.
- Delay treatment for any injuries.
In Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Cuyahoga Counties contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland’s podiatric surgeons Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann for expert care of foot and ankle injuries. Our number in Solon, Ohio is (440) 903-1041.