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news item News Friday, May 24, 2019 Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:39 PM - Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:39 PM

Preventing lawn mower injuries in children

According to the journal Pediatrics, approximately 9,400 children in the U.S. are treated each year for lawn mower-related injuries. These Injuries result in loss of fingers, toes, hands, feet and even eyes. Injuries involving lawn mowers can also result in permanent brain injury or death.

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Salt Lake City cares for a number of patients each year who have been seriously injured in lawn mower accidents. While the hospital’s medical team is prepared to provide surgery, rehabilitative therapy and state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs to these patients, keeping kids safe by preventing child lawn mower injuries is a major goal of Shriners Hospitals for Children.

These general lawn mower safety tips have been developed by The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Shriners Hospitals for Children:

  • Always prepare your lawn for mowing – Check your lawn for items such as sticks, rocks, toys, sports equipment, dog bones, wire and equipment parts. Make sure miscellaneous items are not hidden in tall grass. The debris could be thrown while mowing, possibly hitting the operators or bystanders.
  • Check for children – Always make sure children are indoors or at a safe distance from the area you plan to mow.
  • Make sure the operator is age appropriate – Children younger than 16 should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 should not use walk-behind mowers.
  • Handle fuel with care – Always use care when filling the tank with gasoline. Wipe up spills. Start and refuel mowers outdoors, not in a garage or shed. Never fill the tank on a mower that has been operating and is hot. Never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline.
  • Mow forward – 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.
  • Wear protective clothing and shoes – Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, close-fitting clothes, eye protection, heavy gloves and hearing protection. Wear sturdy shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles.
  • Turn it off – Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute or crossing gravel paths, roads or other areas.

Shriners Hospitals for Children has resources available for parents, educators and health care professionals. Order the summer safety workbook for your family or community today!