One lesson I learned as a young man was to respect the power of the lawn mower. Early on my dad said,
“Always wear long pants, no matter how hot it is outside. Those little rocks hurt when they hit your legs and you never know what else might come flying from under the mower”
I’ve cut much grass in over 30 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever cut with shorts on. I’ve passed that lesson on to my kids as well. My 14 year old son has been cutting grass for the last few years and since we try not to be gender specific with chores in our house, my 12 year old daughter is learning to respect the lawn mower as well.
When going over safety reminders again recently, I came across plenty of statistics showing that this time of year, kids are consistently getting injured in lawn mower accidents. Most of these are from riding lawn mowers (sorry, we’re not ballin’ like that as I just can’t afford anything like that…we don’t even have a self-propelled mower on nearly an acre of land), as parents let children ride on their laps or the kids tragically flip the mower over on themselves.
So dad’s, if you are giving the kids the joy of learning how to maintain where they live and teaching them how to mow the lawn, please take the time to teach them to respect the mower.
- Lawn mower injuries to children can be mutilating or fatal, but can often be prevented.
- Cuts, fractures, and burns account for 60% of all mower injuries; half of these types of injuries require amputation of the toes, feet, or legs.
- In children under 7, injuries are often the result of falling or jumping from ride-on mowers. Others are caused by sliding under the mower or being backed over, even when parents or relatives are driving.
- “Off and inside” is a good reminder that kids should not operate or be passengers on riding mowers, and are only out of harm’s way if indoors.