Lawn Mower Safety Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics

(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.

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