Mowing Lawns, Staying Safe
Simple steps prevent serious mower injury
THURSDAY, July 15, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A freshly mown lawn is a rite of summer and a joy to behold, but each year thousands of Americans are maimed or blinded in lawn mower accidents.
Simple precautions can lower lawn mower risks, however. Here are some tips on lawn mower safety from Duke University Medical Center:
- Prepare your lawn before you mow. Remove rocks, sticks or any other debris that could become dangerous projectiles when caught by mower blades.
- Fill the lawn mower gas tank outdoors when the engine is cool. Never fill the gas tank when the mower is the in a garage or shed, since gasoline fumes can be dangerous.
- Always wear protective eyewear. Earplugs and other forms of ear protection are also a good idea.
- Be especially cautious when mowing on slopes. Push walk-behind mowers across slopes and drive riding mowers up and down slopes.
- Wear heavy boots, preferably ones with steel toes.
- Never carry a child on a riding mower. If the child falls off and the driver remains on the mower, the automatic mower shut-off won't be activated.
- Make sure the mower is turned off before you reach underneath to remove grass clumps or debris.
- Keep children and pets in the house or in another supervised areas of the yard while you're mowing.
- A child should be at least 12 years old to operate a push mower and at least 14 to operate a riding mower.
- Don't drink alcohol while you're mowing.
The University of Michigan Health System has more about lawn mower safety.