It’s finally summertime, which means the sun is out longer and you have more time to enjoy working in your yard. Summertime also means the children are out of school and spending time outdoors. You may even have your children helping with yard work by watering flowers or digging holes for plants. Just remember to keep them away from dangerous yard equipment such as lawnmowers.
In the United States, more than 9,000 children go to the emergency room due to lawnmower- related injuries each year. The sharp, fast-moving blades of a mower can cause severe cuts, broken bones or even sever limbs. In fact, lawnmower accidents are the leading cause of traumatic amputations in children, and most of these children are injured in their own yard.
Orthopedic surgeon Kristen Nathe, MD, Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, has seen the results of these types of injuries.
“It’s important for parents to know what can happen, so they can make sure it doesn’t happen to their children,” said Nathe.
She explains that lawnmower injuries can be caused by:
- Falling near the lawnmower.
- Getting run over or struck by the lawnmower.
- Falling when riding with the operator of the lawnmower.
- Simply touching the hot surface of a lawnmower.
Fortunately, most of these injuries can be easily avoided. Nathe offers some tips to help keep children safe around lawnmowers:
- Children should be at least 12 years old to use a push lawnmower.
- Children should be at least 16 years old to use a riding lawnmower.
- Do not allow children on riding lawnmowers.
- Carefully look for children behind you before mowing in reverse.
- Do not leave a running lawnmower unattended.
- Do not use your hands or feet to remove debris from a mower.
- If a lawnmower-related injury occurs, call 911 right away.
For more information about Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, visit PHUSCOrthoCenter.org or call 803-907-0350.