Even though it’s easy to forget when you’re using it week in and week out, your lawn mower is actually dangerous and potentially deadly piece of equipment.
Each year 20,000 people are injured in the U.S. due to mower-related accidents, and 75 are killed. One in five of those deaths involves a child, and more than 600 children will lose a limb this year as a result of a preventable lawn mower accident. While it’s important to be extremely cautious when cutting your yard, one of the safest things you can do for your family is to keep your children inside while you’re operating a lawn mower. In many cases where children were injured, the adults involved didn’t know they were near the mower when the injuries occurred.
To raise awareness about the dangers lawn mowers pose to children, The Amputee Coalition and Limbs Matter, a group of parents whose children have undergone an amputation because of a lawn mower accident, have partnered on national safety initiatives.
Kids aren’t the only ones at risk from lawn mowers. Here are some personal safety tips to keep in mind:
Wear the right clothing. Avoid shorts or sandals. Long pants will protect your legs and closed-toed shoes protect your feet and provide better traction.
Survey the yard. Before mowing, pick up any sticks, rocks or other debris that could become dangerous projectiles if hit by a mower blade.
Tell somebody. Before you begin mowing, be sure to tell a family member or neighbor that you’re going to be working outside in case an accident happens.
Mow across the slope. If you have to mow a slope, always mow across the slope and never up and down. This removes the risk of the mower rolling back on you.
Don’t mow at night. You should only use your mower in daylight or good artificial light.
Beware the sun. If it’s hot outside, be sure to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Learn more about the importance of lawn mower safety by watching the “Limbs Matter” public service announcement.