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Every summer podiatrists across the country treat children who have lost toes or the front parts of their feet in lawn mower accidents. Lawn mower injuries happen in a variety of ways. For example, a child riding on an adult's lap falls off a riding mower and gets their foot caught in the blade. Or a toddler suddenly runs in front of a moving lawnmower. A boy jumps off a swing into the path of a lawn mower. All of these examples are real life incidences that come to emergency rooms across the country each summer.
What’s the worst part about these devastating injuries? They are totally preventable!
Look at this staggering statistic – according to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2007 nearly 210,000 people, including 16,200 children, were injured in lawn mower accidents. Don't let your child be one of them! Kids should never be around a running lawn mower, and children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to operate either a riding lawn mower or push mower.
Operators of riding and push lawn mowers should also follow these other safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Keep children out of the mowing area and under the supervision of another adult who isn't mowing the lawn.
- If a child enters the area, turn off the mower.
- Before and while backing up, look behind and down for small children.
- Never carry children on riding mowers, even with the blade shut off.
- Never allow children to operate the machine.
- Be extremely careful when approaching blind corners, shrubs, trees, etc., that could block your view of a child.
- Wear sturdy shoes with sure-grip soles to avoid slipping.
As we continue with lawn mowing season, be sure to follow these common-sense precautions to make sure kids stay safe this summer.
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