With summer fast approaching, Minnesota homeowners soon will dust off their lawnmowers and begin the weekly routine of cutting their grass. During this time, it’s important to keep in mind the dangers that lawnmowers can pose to children. A lawnmower blade’s damage to still-developing bones and growth plates can put children at risk for limb-length discrepancies and permanent orthopedic deformities. Help prevent serious injuries by following these guidelines:
Before You Mow
- Keep children indoors while mowing.
- Never allow a child to ride on a riding lawn mower with the operator.
- Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
- Never allow children to play on a lawn mower, even if it is turned off.
- Never mow barefoot – wear shoes, not sandals.
- Use eye and hearing protection.
Who Should Mow?
- Children should be at least 12 years-old before operating any lawn mower.
- Children should be at least 16 to operate a riding mower.
- Only use mowers with automatic shutdown abilities, such as those with a control that stops motion when the handle is released.
- Don’t mow in reverse.
* These safety tips are based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement, Lawn Mower Injuries to Children.