(HealthDay News) -- Thousands of adults and children are hurt each year from lawn mower-related accidents.
But there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons advises:
- Ensure that the mower has a protective cover over parts that are sharp or may become hot. Riding mowers should have a reverse switch, usually found behind the driver's seat. Push mowers should have a safety feature that stops the mower when the handle is released.
- Instruct children to stay indoors when the mower is in use. If they must be outside, they should be kept at least 20 feet from the mower.
- Never let a child under age 12 operate a push mower, or a child under 16 operate a riding mower. Never allow anyone to be a passenger on a riding mower.
- Protect feet with sturdy shoes (never sandals), and use eye and hearing protection.
- Pick up toys, rocks and debris from the yard before mowing.