Pediatric News You Can Use: Children and Lawnmower Safety
It's almost summer and we all know what that means, the grass is growing fast and mowing-time is upon us. With lawnmowing season in full gear we would like to offer you the following lawnmower safety information from Lisa Marie Bernardo, RN, PhD, CEN and Mary J. Gardner, RN of UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to promote safety to our patients and families.
Lawn Mowers Hospitalize 9,000 Children Annually
Each spring and summer, hospitals see the results of injuries caused by power lawn mowers. Many of these incidents result in painful injuries, loss of fingers, toes and even eyes. Below are a few recommendations from UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to help protect parents and children from getting hurt. Good lawn mower maintenance coupled with these safety tips can help to ensure that the grass is the only thing that gets cut.
- Children should not be allowed on or near a lawn mower when it’s in use.
- They should never be permitted to walk along side, in front of or behind a moving mower.
- Rocks and other debris often can shoot out of a lawn mower while it is running.
- The AAP recommend that a child be 12 years of age to operate a power mower.
- Children under 5 years of age should be kept indoors during mowing. They can behave unpredictably and might run into the mower’s path.
- Don’t allow children to play on or around a lawn mower, even when it’s not in use – they need to learn that lawn mowers aren't toys.
- Inspect the area to be mowed for stones, tree branches, nails and wires – these objects can be picked up by the mower and expelled at bullet-like speeds, causing serious injury.
- Always push the mower forward, never pull it backward toward you.
- A sloping lawn should be mowed across, never up and down.
- When using an electric lawn mower, make sure the extension cord is not cut or frayed and is the right gauge for the electrical current. A ground fault circuit interrupter cord is helpful as well.
- Riding mowers were not meant for passengers; carrying children or other adults invites the potential for falling under the mower and sustaining serious injuries.
- The AAP recommend that a child be 16 years of age to operate a riding mower.
- Carts are not meant for passengers, either. A cart can easily tip over, and riders can be seriously hurt.
- When mowing in reverse, remember to look behind you for potential danger or bystanders.
Read all of the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh lawnmower safety tips here.
Be sure to also visit Today's Homeowner for additional in-depth lawnmower safety tips.
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