Mowing lawns is a common rite of passage for older children as they help with household chores and earn pocket money in the neighborhood. However, more than 9,000 children are seen in emergency rooms with injuries related to lawn mowers each year.
The experts of Safe Kids Fayette County break down how you can protect your children from these preventable injuries.
Tips for parents and caregivers
This is what you should know before you let your kid use a lawn mower:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be at least 12 years old before operating a walk-behind mower and 16 years old for riding mowers.
- Before allowing a child to operate the mower alone, teach the child how to safely operate it.
- Closely supervise until the child is able to operate the mower independently.
- A child should be able to demonstrate the strength and maturity to operate a mower safely.
- Keep younger children indoors or a safe distance away from mowing area.
Top tip: NEVER allow a child to ride as a passenger on lawnmowers.
Tips for youth
Make sure your kid does each of these things before they start mowing:
- Learn how to use the mower safely.
- Wear safety glasses, hearing protection, long pants and closed-toe shoes.
- Prepare mowing area by clearing any debris, such as rocks, twigs and toys.
- Check the weather. Do not operate a mower in the rain or during a thunderstorm.
- Be aware and avoid distractions. Keep all pets and younger children away from mowing area.
Top tip: Shut off and cool down mower before refueling, handling bagger or making any other adjustments to the mower.