It’s summertime and like always you are out mowing your yard. Suddenly, you look up and see your child running towards you. In a split second your life changes forever.
Did you know that according to the Amputee Coalition, more than 600 children a year undergo mower-related amputations? What a significantly high number for an issue that is nearly preventable.
What can you do to make sure your child stays safe?
- Never allow your child to be in the yard when you are mowing. Better yet, make sure they are inside the house.
- For younger children especially, be sure an adult in the house is actively watching them as it only takes a moment for them to slip out a door.
- Explain the dangers of mowing to your child. Help them understand why this is such a serious subject and why their obedience is crucial.
- Do not let your child ride on the lawn mower with you.
- Do not allow your child to play on a lawn mower, even if it is off.
- Only allow children 12 years or older to operate a lawn mower, and be sure a parent is still supervising.
Children are not the only ones to receive mower-related amputations.
1. Be sure to wear the proper attire for protection. Closed toed shoes, pants, eye protection and gloves.
2. Clear the ground of rocks, limbs, and debris before you begin.
3. Refuel either before you start or only while the motor is cool and only refuel outdoors, not inside the garage.
4. Make sure your mower has an automatic shut off either as part of the handle, if it’s a push mower, or when the seat is empty for a riding mower.
5. When removing grass, unclogging the chute, or inspecting any part, turn the mower off and be certain the blades have come to a complete stop.
6. Do not drive or pull the mower backwards in reverse unless absolutely necessary – in which case be sure to check behind you before doing so.