Children and Lawn Mowing Safety
Child injuries from lawn mowers are quite common throughout Broward County and the rest of South Florida. Every year there are 100’s cases of children being injured from lawn mowers. These accidents happen due to lack of awareness among parents about lawn mowing and maintenance safety rules. To prevent such tragedies from happening, parents need to be cautious while children are in the vicinity. Every home owner who cuts their own lawn should follow proper lawn maintenance safety rules.
Over 12,000 people per year are hospitalized with injures as a result of lawn mower accidents in the U.S. Lawn mowers can throw projectiles with extreme force. The blades of a self-powered push mower can definitely injure someone. Newer mowers are equipped with a ‘auto-shut off’ switch to immediately turn off when the user is no longer is holding the mower’s handle.
Here is the list of guidelines for the adults to keep everyone safe from the lawn mower tragedies-
When you are mowing-
There are certain things that need to be done before even starting the lawn mower:
- Keep the children at a safe distance, preferably inside the house.
- Always work under daylight and avoid bad weather at any cost.
- Leave the wet grass to dry before mowing.
- Survey the lawn for any objects like stones, twigs or toys. These can become projectiles while mowing the grass.
- Read the mower operator manual mindfully before using it.
- Check every part of the lawn mower to ensure it is in proper condition to use.
After checking off all the above pointers, prepare yourself properly to mow the lawn:
- Wear protection items such as sturdy closed shoes, eye glasses with side shields, and hearing protection.
- Pay attention when approaching the corners or the tall grass areas as there can be hidden dangers awaiting you. Also be careful while mowing a slope.
- If there is any collision immediately stop the lawn mower and check if any part is damaged.
- Never pull the mower backwards or mow in reverse as it may cause dangerous accidents.
After mowing is done-
When the task is complete don’t rush into other things immediately. At this point:
- Turn off the mower and wait till the blades stop completely.
- Don’t cross gravel paths or roads before it is turned off.
- Also don’t try to dismount or leave it before ensuring it is safely closed.
- Remove the grass from the grass catcher or unclog the discharge chute when it is absolutely still.
With regards to the children-
If you or your kids are eager to participate in lawn mowing then keep these things in mind:
- They should be above 12 years of age at least -To operate a riding mower they need to be 16.
- Don’t allow them to sit on your lap in riding lawn mower.
- Don’t leave them alone with the lawn mower. Keep a close eye on them.
- Teach them all the basic rules of using a lawn mower and give them all the necessary tips that you have learned.
Lawn mowing is an absolute necessity and needs to be done at a regular basis. Being aware of the proper use of a lawn mower as well as other safety rules while you are at this task can prevent lots of accidents from taking place. Always, keep the above pointers in mind while working with your lawn mower and also educate your children about it. This is the best way to eliminate any unfortunate incidents in your house. Be safe and keep others safe.