Who Mows Your Lawn?

Cynthia Dermody
Home & Garden


lawnmower injuries

Photo by Punkylu78

At my house, it's usually my husband behind the electric mower, but often times I'll volunteer for the task. I actually like it. I burn calories. And the cut lines come out much straighter (my husband will disagree).

Our mower is an old, basic model without the fancy self-propelled feature that makes it seem like you are pushing a newborn in a microlight stroller.

With our mower, it's like I'm pushing my husband in a stroller. Up a hill. In the rain.

Kidding aside, lawn mowing is serious business, especially if you've relegated the weekly chore to your kids. Hopefully they are over age 12 or very mature -- that's the youngest that many health officials say children should be operating mowers.

Every year about 220,000 people — about 16,500 of them under 19 years old — are treated for lawnmower-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most injuries are to hands and feet -- can you believe that many people mow their lawns in flip-flops!

Since the grass is getting high, I thought it time to pass along some general safety reminders so you can linger in the backyard instead of the ER:

  • Never let kids under 12 years old operate lawnmowers of any kind. Don't let kids use ride-on mowers until they're 16.
  • Never let children ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.
  • Never let kids or teens adjust the blade settings — that's a job for an adult.
  • Keep young children away whenever a lawn is being mowed.
  • Always wear hearing and eye protection, and sturdy shoes — not sandals — while mowing.

Click to find more lawnmower safety tips.

Do you mow the lawn -- do your kids? How old are they? What safety precautions do you make them take?

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