April showers brought May flowers, and June has undoubtedly provided grass that needs to be mowed. By now you have likely had an afternoon siesta disturbed by the buzzing of a lawn mower.Image via imcdb.org
Lawn mowers are so commonplace that it can be easy to not think about taking proper safety precautions. Surprisingly, 253,000 people sustained lawn mower-related injuries in 2010 according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
To keep you from being a statistic, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) advises observing the following protocols:
- Ensure that the mower has a protective cover over parts that are sharp or may become hot. Riding mowers should have a reverse switch, usually found behind the driver’s seat. Push mowers should have a safety feature that stops the mower when the handle is released.
- Instruct children to stay indoors when the mower is in use. If they must be outside, they should be kept at least 20 feet from the mower.
- Never let a child under age 12 operate a push mower, or a child under 16 operate a riding mower. Never allow anyone to be a passenger on a riding mower.
- Protect feet with sturdy shoes (never sandals), and use eye and hearing protection.
- Pick up toys, rocks and debris from the yard before mowing.