(U.S.) – Keep your family safe around lawn mowers by following these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.
- Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
- Make sure that sturdy shoes are worn while mowing. No bare feet, open-toed shoes or flip flops.
- Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.
- Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
- Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
- Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
- Keep children out of the yard while mowing.
- Only use lawn power equipment with adequate daylight, not at twilight.
- Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.
- Keep guards, shields, switches, and safety devices in proper working order at all times.
- If children must be in the vicinity of running lawnmowers, they should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.
- Lawn mower injuries to children are often extremely traumatic and can include amputation, death and emotional distress that can last a lifetime.
Also see the AAP Voices blog “Children and Lawn Mowers Often a Tragic Combination” for Dr Dale Jarka’s personal experiences with lawn mowers and children.