Lawn Mower Accidents Account for More Than Half of Traumatic Amputations in Children

Lawn mower-related injuries account for more than 51% of traumatic amputations among children. Major limb loss is most commonly caused by lawn mowers for children under the age of 10.

“We want to see the number of accidents greatly reduced by increasing public awareness of lawn mower safety,” Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition, stated in a press release. “Amputations from lawn mower accidents are among the most preventable. By following common-sense safety rules, you can prevent lawn mower injuries to yourself and others.”

The Amputee Coalition offers these safety guidelines:

  • Never allow children to play on a lawn mower, even if it is turned off;
  • Never allow a child to ride on a riding lawn mower with you;
  • Keep your children indoors and do not allow other children to play nearby while you are mowing; and
  • Children should be12 years of age or older before operating any lawn mower and at least 16 years old to operate a riding mower.

Before starting your lawn mower, use this simple Amputee Coalition checklist, which is based on information from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Keep this checklist in your garage or near your mowing equipment. It only takes a minute to prevent disaster.

Before Mowing:

  • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects;
  • Wear shoes, not sandals;
  • Use eye and hearing protection;
  • Start and refuel mowers outdoors, never in a garage;
  • Refuel with the motor turned off and cool; and
  • Have an adult adjust blade settings.

While Mowing:

  • Only use mowers with automatic shutdown abilities; and
  • Do not mow in reverse unless necessary.

After Mowing:

  • Wait for blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel roads.

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