Summer lawn mowing is such a routine activity that many people tend to view it as being less dangerous than it actually is. Each summer, tens of thousands of Americans are injured by lawn mowers. This summer, four national medical societies have teamed up to encourage homeowners to be especially careful around lawn mowers. The American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all offer the following safety tips to help protect people from lawn mower injuries this season:
"Children should be at least 12 years old before they operate any lawn mower, and at least 16 years old for a ride-on mower.
Children should never be passengers on ride-on mowers.
Always wear sturdy shoes while mowing – not sandals.
Young children should be at a safe distance from the area you are mowing.
Before mowing, pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
Always wear eye and hearing protection.
Use a mower with a control that stops it from moving forward if the handle is released.
Never pull backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary – carefully look for others behind you when you do.
Start and refuel mowers outdoors – not in a garage. Refuel with the motor turned off and cool.
Blade settings should be set by an adult only.
Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads."
The groups also remind parents that children’s hands, feet and faces can easily be injured by lawn mowers, and that although those injuries can be devastating, they can also be prevented.
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