April 23, 2012
Spring is in full swing, and families are spending more time outdoors working on lawn and gardening projects. Basic to advanced lawn and garden tools used around the house can pose injury risks to families. Both children and adults can prevent injuries by being cautious, aware and prepared before beginning any lawn-care venture.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010, more than 235,000 adults and 17,000 children in theU.S.were injured by lawn mowers. Boys sustain 80 percent of lawn mower injuries, which most often occur to the arms or hands.
Common types of injures that most frequently result in lawn mower accidents include cuts, burns, fractures (broken bones) and amputations.
To prevent lawn mower injuries this spring, theAmericanAcademyof Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests the following safety tips:
- Only use a mower that has protection over hot and sharp parts.
- Riding mowers should have the reverse switch behind the driver, forcing the driver to look behind when placing the machine in reverse.
- Push mowers should have a control that stops forward motion when the handle is released.
- If children must be in the yard during mowing, they should remain at least 20 feet away from the running lawn mower at all times. Ideally, children should not be allowed outside in the yard when the grass is being cut.
- Children should be at least 12 years old before operating a push lawn mower, and 16 years old to operate a riding lawn mower.
- Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
- Always wear sturdy shoes while moving the lawn- do not wear sandals.
- Remove stones, toys and debris from the lawn before mowing to prevent injuries from flying objects.
- Always wear eye and hearing protection.