Now that summer is officially upon us, it means that yard work has started to become a major priority for many people. One of the most ubiquitous summertime yard work tasks is mowing the lawn. In fact, the average American mows his or her lawn about 30 times a year, which adds up to a significant amount of time. Although mowing the lawn is a fairly mundane task, it can also be quite dangerous, especially for children. In 2011, 83,291 people were treated in US hospital emergency rooms for lawn mover injuries, including 3,780 children. This is due to the fact that it is very easy for children to get caught in the path of a lawnmower, often with devastating results.
Common Lawn Mower Injuries
For most people, lawn mowers are the biggest and most powerful piece of machinery they use besides their vehicles. Although modern lawn mowers are designed with very advanced safety features, this does not negate the fact that the primary moving part of a lawnmower is a sharp blade that is designed to slice through everything in its path. Some of the more common injuries from lawnmower accidents are as follows:
- Injuries from Projectiles: Whenever loose objects hit the spinning blade, such as rocks, sticks, golf balls, or small toys, they become projectiles that can strike anyone who is in the vicinity.
- The Loss of a Limb: Every year, about 800 children are run over by riding lawn mowers or small tractors, and more than 600 of those incidents result in amputation. For children under the age of 10, lawn mower accidents are the most common cause of major limb loss.
- Burns: The exhaust from a lawn mower can reach temperatures of up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Anyone who is near this exhaust could suffer a burn from it.
- Injuries from Falls: Riding on a lawn mower can be a lot of fun for children, and many parents allow young children to sit on their laps while they mow. However, depending on how fast the mower is moving, children who fall off the lawn mower form this position can suffer injuries like broken bones and sprains.
How to Prevent Lawn Mower Injuries
For as common a task as mowing the lawn is, doing so need not be dangerous, so long as every homeowner follows a set of common-sense precautions.
Before You Mow
- Pick up stones, toys, and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects
- Wear shoes, not flip flops
- Use eye and hearing protection
- Start and refuel mowers outdoors, never in a garage
- Only refuel the motor when it is turned off and cool
While You Mow
- For push mowers: Only use mowers with automatic shut-off abilities, such as those with a control that stops motion when the handle is released
- For riding lawn mowers: Make sure your mower includes an automatic shut-off when a rider is not in the seat
- Never mow in reverse
After You Mow
- Turn off the lawn mower completely
- Do not remove the grass catcher or unclog the discharge chute until the mower is off
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you have suffered an injury–whether it was in a lawnmower accident or otherwise–you may be entitled to compensation if the accident was the result of someone else’s negligence. Contact the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd for a free consultation to discuss your case by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including the following locations: Atlanta, Roswell, and Sandy Springs.