Steer Children Clear of Lawn Mower Injuries

Steer Children Clear of Lawn Mower Injuries
National Medical Societies’ Safety Tips Help Kids Avoid Becoming a Statistic

As the school year draws to a close, thousands of children across the country will take on a familiar chore: mowing the lawn. June is National Home Safety Month and five national medical organizations are warning Americans that the routine task of lawn mowing can be extremely dangerous to children, the operator, and those nearby if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.

Sadly, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries in 2010, nearly 17,000 of them children under age 19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports. Lawn mower-related injuries are up 3 percent since 2009.

“Lawn mower injuries can be devastating injuries and it is so sad since it can be so easily prevented,” said orthopaedic surgeon Joseph F. Scordino, MD. “Children should remain well away from an operating lawn mower.   In addition, the operator should be using proper shoe wear to prevent injuries.  I have treated several of these injuries and these can be life changing events.  The best way to treat a lawn mower injury is to make sure one does not happen.”

To help prevent injuries, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) are educating adults and children about the importance of lawn mower safety.

Many lawn mower-related injuries require a team of physicians from various specialties to properly repair them. Often, patients must endure painful reconstructive operations for months, sometimes years, to restore form and function.

Lawn mower injury prevention tips include:

  • 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.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • 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.
  • Always wear eye and hearing protection.

Lawn mowers can be a cause of serious eye injury. This year the AAP Section on Ophthalmology has added the following to its safety tips: Children in the vicinity of running lawn mowers should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.


On June 5th, 2012, posted in: Latest News by
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