Expert Health Articles

Lawnmower Safety

*Through a collaboration between Blanchard Valley Health System and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the content of this article was provided courtesy of Nationwide’s 700 Children’s® blog by pediatric experts.

In the spring and summer, you often hear the familiar humming sound of lawnmowers. These common machines that are used multiple times each week by teenagers and adults present a danger to children. Every year, more than 9,000 children are injured by lawnmowers in the United States.

A study recently published by the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that lawnmower injuries in children can be quite severe. Lawnmower blades turn very fast and can cause a lot of damage. About one in three lawnmower injuries might lead to limb removal (amputation).

The most common way for kids to get injured by a lawnmower is if they get run over by a riding lawnmower. Lawnmowers are loud, and the person operating the lawnmower may not notice a child running towards the lawnmower. Another “no-no” is letting kids ride on a lawnmower with you: if the kid falls off or jumps off, they can get run over by the lawnmower and come into contact with the blade.

Here are some ways you can keep your children safe this summer, while maintaining a beautiful lawn:

Never let a child ride with you on a lawnmower; maintain a kid-free zone of at least 100 feet when you are mowing, because children can run towards the mower without being noticed; clear loose debris, such as rocks, from the area before mowing; always look behind you if you are driving a lawnmower backwards. In addition, if you are driving backwards, make sure the lawnmower blade is off; riding lawnmowers should only be used by individuals 16 years and older, and push mowers should only be used by individuals 12 years and older.

Ibrahim Khansa, MD
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery