2012-06-18


Health Dept. Gives Tips To Prevent Lawnmower Injuries

75,000 Americans Injured Every Year; Most Injuries Linked to Human Error

PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Health Department is offering County residents safety tips to help reduce or prevent lawnmower accidents and injuries.

Every year about 75,000 Americans, including 10,000 children, are injured seriously enough by lawnmowers to require emergency room medical treatment.  The injuries may range from minor cuts and bruises to amputations and are sometimes even fatal. 

Most lawnmower injuries can be traced to human error and often result from being unfamiliar with the mower, loss of control, operating in poor conditions, mowing in the vicinity of others, improper clothing and allowing children to operate the equipment.     

It is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopedics Surgery that children not operate a lawnmower until they are 16 years old.

Health officials recommend the following precautions for mowing your lawn safely: 

  • Keep children out of the yard and in a well-supervised area to avoid injury.
  • Wear long pants, solid shoes, glasses or goggles, and ear coverings to protect yourself from small projectiles that might kick out from under the mower.
  • Check your lawn before mowing for broken sticks, stones, toys and anything else that could shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade.
  • If using a power mower, be sure it has a control that stops the mower if the handle is let go.
  • Start and refuel your mower outdoors, not in a garage or shed.  Fill it up with gas before starting, so you won’t be tempted to pour gas into a hot mower when in the middle of the job.
  • Make sure all mower blades are securely in place before you start mowing.  When checking, always remember to first pull the wire off the sparkplug to avoid accidental starting.
  • Never reach under a mower unless it’s off and the blade has completely stopped turning.
  • If your yard isn’t very large, consider cutting the grass with a push instead of a power mower to save fuel, reduce emissions, burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health.

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