Summer is just around the corner and most folks are getting their lawns ready for the season.
But something that can seem like just an everyday lawn tool can be very dangerous if there are children present.
Lawnmower accidents account for more than 17,000 injuries to children per year.
Keep kids inside
According to Purva Grover, M.D., a pediatric emergency physician at Cleveland Clinic, it’s important for parents to know where their children are at all times whether using a push mower or a ride-on mower.
“Most of the injuries which we see, the most common scenarios are a very careful parent is mowing the lawn and the kids come running behind and the parents don’t even see them because they just rush out like that sometimes, and so it’s very important to make sure you know where your kids are,” said Dr. Grover.
Do’s and Don’ts
Dr. Grover said the best way to keep small children safe is to keep them indoors when the lawnmower is in use.
Lawn mower safety is important for older children as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be at least 12 years old before operating a push mower and 16 years old before using a driving mower.
Dr. Grover said parents need to educate their children about the dangers of lawn mowers and why it’s important for them to stay away when it’s in use.
She also cautions parents against allowing a child to sit on their lap while operating a riding mower. She says many severe injuries have resulted after a child has toppled off their parent’s lap and became hurt before the mower could be stopped.
Dr. Grover said it’s important to be aware of surroundings when cutting the grass, since it’s often difficult to hear.
She also recommends removing any visible debris before cutting the lawn to avoid injuries.
“It can act as a flying object and can hurt the kids who might be playing on the porch minding their own business, but these can cause potentially pretty severe injuries,’ said Dr. Grover.
Unfortunately accidents do happen and when they do, Dr. Grover said it’s essential to assess the situation. If the injury is something that needs more than a bandage give immediate first aid and call 9-1-1 right away.