As the school year comes to an end, many kids will be taking on summer chores, including the ever so popular chore – mowing the lawn.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), three national medical organizations are warning families that the routine task of lawn mowing can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator, and those nearby if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.
Alarmingly, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in 2010 — nearly 17,000 of them children under age 19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports.
To keep your kids and family safe, please read the following lawn mower injury prevention tips by the AAP:
- Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push lawn mower, and age 16 to operate a driving lawn mower.
- Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
- Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
- Prevent injuries from flying objects (such as stones or toys) by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins.
- Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
- Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, inspecting or repairing lawn mower equipment or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
- Use a stick or broom handle (not your hands or feet) to remove debris in lawn mowers.
- Keep lawn mowers in good working order.
Check out more safety tips.
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More children are affected by injuries than all other childhood illnesses and diseases combined. Most of these injuries are predictable and preventable. Here’s how to keep your child safe.