In the summertime, many youths try to earn a few dollars by mowing lawns, or perhaps they’ve been enlisted to help with the family yard work.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to parents who want to teach their children about safe lawn mowing techniques:
• 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 (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
• 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.
• 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.
• Children in the vicinity of running lawnmowers should wear polycarbonate protective eye wear at all times.