What to know before you mow
Each year, nearly 10,000 children are treated in emergency departments and hospitals for injuries related to lawn mowers. These injuries can be devastating, but they are also preventable. Almost all occur while a parent or relative is driving the lawn mower. The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, a partnership of Kohl’s Cares and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, provides the following safety tips and reminders to help keep children safe from lawn mower injuries.
When you mow
- Make sure children and pets are indoors or at a safe distance away from the area you plan to mow. Remain aware of where children are at all times.
- Protect yourself by wearing closed-toe shoes and long pants.
- Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent flying objects.
- Read and understand the owner’s manual, and pay particular attention to safety procedures. Make sure your mower is in good working order.
- Always look carefully and stop the mower blades when backing up.
- Never leave a running mower unattended.
Safety reminders for younger kids
Most injuries occur in children ages 6 and younger.
- Children should stay in the house and under the supervision of another adult while a lawn mower is in use. The best way to stay safe is to steer clear.
- Talk to children about the dangers of lawn mowers. Kids need to know they are “revolving knives” and never to approach one that’s running.
- Never let children ride on a lawn mower, even when it’s not moving. Many injuries occur when children slide off and fall under the mower blades.
Safety reminders for older kids
Before learning how to mow the lawn, children should demonstrate the maturity, good judgment, strength and coordination the job requires. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following age guidelines:
- Children should be at least 12 years of age to operate a push mower
- Children should be at least 16 years of age to operate a riding mower.
For information and resources about family safety in the home, outdoors and on the go, including the free Keep Spriggy Safe App, visit KohlsSafeandHealthy.com/stay-safe.